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lutitrimtarinu lingrii|ili^: 
















VOL. I. 



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€i$%$ Volumtt 






FBB. 26, 1850. 

VOL. I. 


Thomas Ainsworth, Esq., The Flosh, Cleator, Whitehaven. 

John Alcock, Esq., Ghttley Hill, Cheadle, Cheshire. 

Samuel Alcock, Esq., Stancliffe Hall, Darley Dale. 

Mr. William Alexander, Great Yarmouth. 

Robert Andrews, Esq., Rivington Hall, Lancashire. 

John Armstrong, Esq., Acrelands, Lancaster. 

The Rev. Joseph Ashton, Preston. 

Samuel Ashton, Esq., Oaklands, Cheshire. 

Thomas Ashton, Esq., Flowery Field, Cheshire. 

The Rev. R. B. Aspland, M. A., Dukinfield. 

Sydney Aspland, Esq., Lamb Building, Temple, London. 

The Rev. R. Astley, Shrewsbury. 

Mr. John Atkinson, Daisy Bank, Victoria Park, Manchester. 

The Rev. Samuel Bache, Fairview House, Edgbaston. 
John Badley, Esq., Dudley. 
The Rev. Franklin Baker, M.A., Bolton. 
Mr. Alfred Bankart, Bradford, Yorkshire. 
The Rev. John Barling, Halifax. 

Mr. R. Barrow, Claremont Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
Charles H. Basnett, Esq., Brock Street, Bath. 
William Basnett, Esq., Raby Place, Bath. 
The Rev. John Relly Beard, D.D., Camp Terrace, near Man- 
Sir T. B. Beevor, Bart, Hargham, Norfolk. 
The Rey. Charles Berry, The Lynces, Leicester. 


iv subscribers' names. 

William Blake, Esq., Bishop's Hull, near Taunton. 

Thomas Bolton, Esq., Liverpool. 

John Booth, Esq., Monton. 

The Rev. J. Boucher, Hackney. 

Eddowes Bowman, Esq., M. A., Victoria Park, Manchester. 

Miss Bowman, Shrewsbury. 

R. H. Brabant, M.D., Marlborough Buildings, Bath. 

Thomas Broad, Esq., Congleton. 

Mrs. Broadbent, Ox-House Heys, UphoUand, near Wigan. 

The Rev. Thomas Broadhurst, Belvedere House, Bath. 

John Brocklehurst, Esq., M. P., Hurdsfield House, Macclesfield. 

Thomas Brocklehurst, Esq., The Fence, Macclesfield. 

William Brocklehurst, Esq., Tytherington Hall, Macclesfield. 

William Brodhurst, Esq., The Friary, Newark. 

W. H. Brooke, Esq., Dudley. 

The Rev. James Brooks, Gee Cross. 

John Brown, Esq., Castle Gkirden, Wareham. 

William Browne, Esq., Bridgwater. 

Admiral Bullen, Raby Place, Bath. 

Mrs. Burkitt, Paragon, Hackney. 

E. Caddick, Esq., Broadmeadows, King's Norton. 

The Rev. B. Carpenter, Nottingham. 

The Rev. Russell Lant Carpenter, B.A., Bristol. 

Captain Chapman, R.A., Old King Street, Queen Square, Bath. 

The Rev. Edwin Chapman, Ashley Hill, Bristol. 

Mr. James Chorlcy, Smithy Door, Manchester. 

The Rev. E. Cogan, Higham Hill, Walthamstow. 

The Rev. John Colston, Handforth Orange, near Wilmslow. 

John Cooke, Esq., Bellcroft, Newport, Isle of Wight. 

Isaac John Cox, Esq., Honiton. 

Miss Croft, Spring Terrace, Chesterfield. 

The Rev. Thomas Cromwell, Ph.D., F.S. A., Canonbury Park. 

The Rev. John Cropper, M.A., Stand. 

G. Stanley Darbishire, Esq., Manchester. 

subscribers' names. 

Mrs. Darbiflhire, Woodboume, near Dunmurry, Ireland. 

S. D. Darbishire, Esq., Embden Place, Greenheys, Manchester. 

Robert Daun, M.D., Old Aberdeen. 

Mr. J. Davenport, Altrincham. 

Mrs. Davenport, Somerset Place, Bath. 

The Rev. Rees Davies, Cappel-y-groes, Cardiganshire. 

The Rev. Timothy Davis, Evesham. 

Joseph Barnard Davis, Esq., Shelton, Staffordshire. 

Samuel Q. Davison, Ph.D., Carmarthen. 

The Misses Dawson, Royd's Hall, near Bradford, Yorkshire. 

John Dean, Esq., Bolton. 

Sir William Domville, Bart., Southfield, Eastboum. 

Mr. Robert Drew, New Bond Street, Bath. 

Mr. John Drummond, Union Street, Aberdeen. 

J. B. Estlin, Esq., F.L.S., Park Street, Bristol. 

Thomas Rice Estlin, Esq., Liverpool. 

Joseph Ewart, Esq., Victoria Park, Manchester. 

Mrs. Fearon, Hampstead. 

The Rev. William Fillingham, Congleton. 

Miss Catharine Irene Finch, Hagley Terrace, Edgbaston. 

Miss Freeman, Ryton, near Coventry. 

Benjamin Gaskell, Esq., Thome's House, near Wakefield. 
Dan. C^askell, Esq., Lupset Hall, near Wakefield. 
Mrs. Samuel GaskcU, Latchford, near Warrington. 
The Rev. William Gaskell, M.A., Upper Rumford Street, Man- 
The Rev. Robert Gibson, M. A., Lower Redland, Bristol. 
Mr. Edward Grainger, Dudley. 
Mr. Thomas Gratton, Union W. H., Bakewell. 
Mr. Charles Green, Grove Passage, Hackney. 
Robert Hyde Greg, Esq., Norcliffe, near Wilmslow. 
Edmund Grundy, Esq., Bridge Hall, Bury, Lancashire. 

tI subscribers' names. 

William Hackblock, Esq., Liondon. 

Miss Hall, Brighton Place, Oxford Road, Manchester. 

Mrs. John Hall, Victoria Park, Manchester. 

Miss Hampson, Dukinfield. 

The Rev. George Harris, Ridley Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

David Harrison, Esq., Staly-Bridge. 

Miss Helen Harrison, Staly-Bridge. 

The Rev. William Harrison, Higher Brooghton, near Manchester. 

William Haslam, Esq., Copthall Court, London. 

William Hawkes, Esq., Edgbaston. 

Nicholas Heald, Esq., Manchester. 

Isaac Heywood, Esq., Mansfield. 

James Heywood, Esq., M.P., Manchester. 

Robert Heywood, Esq., Bolton. 

Randall Hibbert, Esq., Godley. (Deceased.) 

Samuel Hibbert, Esq., Hyde. 

Thomas Hibbert, Esq., Godley. 

The Rev. Edward Higginson, Wakefield. 

Edward HoUins, Esq., Avenham Hill, Preston. 

William Hollins, Esq., Pleasley Yale, near Mansfield. 

Miss Holmes, Chesterfield. 

George Holt, Esq., Liverpool. 

Henry James Houghton, Esq., Chancery Lane, Booth Street, 

Joseph Hounsell, Esq., Bridport. 
Henry Edward Howse, Esq., Frenchay. — ^Two Copies. 
The Rev. C. B. Hubbard, Rivington. 
Charles Hudson, Esq., Stockport 

Robert Hughes, Esq., Priory Road, Wandsworth Road, London. 
Miss Humble, Liverpool. 
Harry Hunt, Esq., Edgbaston. 
Thomas Yate Hunt, Esq., The Brades, near Oldbury. 
William Hunter, Esq., Huntley Lodge, near Belfast. 
The Rev. Joseph Hutton, LL.D., Hamilton Place, King's Cross, 


subscribers' names. vii 

Mr. H. James, Milsom Street, Bath. 

The Rev. William James, Eingsdown, Bristol. 

William Jessop, Esq., Butterley Hall, near Alfreton. 

The Rev. Thomas Johnstone, Hatfield Hall, near Wakefield. 

Mr. Jolly, Park- View House, Oldfield Road, Bath. 

The Rev. W. Arthur Jones, M. A., Bridgwater. 

William Keith, Esq., Broughton, near Manchester. 

The Rev. Edmund Kell, M. A., Newport, Isle of Wight. 

The Rev. John Eenrick, M. A., York. 

The Rev. John Kentish, Park Vale, Edgbaston. — Three Copies. 

Mr. William Kimber, Northbrook Street, Newbury. 

Mr. Richard Kinder, Oreen-Arbour Court, Old Bailey, London. 

Richard GK>dman Kirkpatrick, Esq., Ryde, Isle of Wight. 

John Lakin, Jun., Esq., Hall-End, near Tam worth. 

Miss Lakin, Camden Place, Bath. 

Miss Lakin, Hall-End, near Tamworth. 

Mr. Joseph Lang, Honiton. 

Mr. Thomas Lang, Dminster. 

Mr. E. Lansdown, Axford*s Buildings, Bath. 

Abraham Laurance, Esq., Devonshire Place, Bath. 

John Lindsay Lawford, Esq., Drapers* Hall, London. 

James Clarke Lawrence, Esq., Tavistock Square, London. 

Thomas Eyre Lee, Esq., Camden Lodge, Birmingham. 

John Leech, Esq., Qorse Hall, near Staly-Bridge. 

Henry Leigh, Esq., Monton. 

Silas Leigh, Esq., Monton. 

John Leisler, Esq., Victoria Park, Manchester. 

The Rev. David Lloyd, Carmarthen. 

E. J. Lloyd, Esq., Oldfield Hall, near Altrincham. 

The Rev. Rees L. Lloyd, Belper. 

Henry Long, Esq., Knutsford. 

Peter Long, Esq., Altrincham. 

Howard Luckcock, Esq., Oakhill, Edgbaston. — Two Copies. 

viii subscribers' names. 

R. Kershaw Lumb, Esq., Halifax. 
Miss Charlotte Lupton, Leeds. 

The Rev. F. M'Cammon, Springrale, Doagh, Ireland. 

James M'Connel, Esq., Polygon Avenue, Manchester. 

T. H. M'Connel, Esq., Pall Mall, Manchester. 

Mr. Ivie Mackie, Oxford Road, Manchester. 

The Rev. R. E. B. Maclellan, Canterbury. 

Miss H. and Miss J. M'Murray, Clanmury, Dromore. 

Miss Malkin, West Hill, Burton-upon-Trent. 

The Rev. B. Mardon, M. A., Boxworth Grove, Islington. 

Mrs. Mason, Oxford Road, Manchester. 

Mrs. Middleton, London Road, Leicester. 

The Rev. W. B. Miniss, Dromore, Co. Down, Ireland. 

Mr. Henry J. Morehouse, Stony Bank, Lydgate, near Hudders- 

Miss Sarah Frances Morton, Albion Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
The Rev. Jerom Murch, Queen's Parade, Bath.-^Two Copies. 
James Murland, Esq., Annsborough, Castlevellan, Co. Down. 
James Murray, Esq., Ardwick, Manchester. 

Miss Nash, Royston. 

Denison Nay lor, Esq., Altrincham. 

William Nias, Esq., Westmoreland Place, Bath. 

Edward Oates, Esq., Meanwoodside, near Leeds. 
Thomas Osier, Esq., Bath Cottage, Clifton. 

Miss Paget, Ibstock, Leicestershire. 

Arthur Palmer, Esq., Park Row, Bristol. (Deceased.) 

H. A. Palmer, Esq., Nelson Villa, Clifton. 

Messrs. Parkin, Chesterfield. 

Mr. James Passman, Clifford Street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock. 

Henry Pershouse, Esq., Alderley. 

Mark Philips, Esq., The Park, near Manchester. 

Robert Philips, Esq., Heybridge, Staffordshire. 

subscribers' names. ix 

W. Onnerod Pilkington, Esq., The Willows, near Preston. 
Miss Pinkerton, Sherboume Place, Leamington. 
Henry Pinnock, Esq., Castlehurst, Newport, Isle of Wight. 
The Rev. John Porter, Belfast. 
The Rev. J. Scott Porter, BelfiEist.— Two Copies. 
Edmund Potter, Esq., Dinting Lodge, near Glossop. 
The Rev. T. E. Poynting, Monton. 
Joseph Thomas Preston, Esq., GFreat John Street, London. 
Mr. John Price, Sergeant of Police, Dowlais Station, Glamorgan- 
W. P. Price, Esq., Tibberton Court, near Gloucester. 
Miss Prime, Lansdown Crescent, Bath. 

The Rev. Thomas Rees, LL.D., Brixton Hill, London. 
Leopold Reiss, Esq., Highfield, near Manchester. 
The Rev. J. G. Robberds, Acomb Street, Manchester. 
The Rev. J. Howard Ryland, Bradford, Yorkshire. 

Mrs. Saxton, Raby Place, Bath. — ^Two Copies. 
Martin Schunck, Esq., Chorlton Abbey, Manchester. 
Sails Schwabe, Esq., Crumpsall House, near Manchester. 
Robert Scott, Esq., Stourbridge. 
Russell Scott, Esq., Summer Hill, Bath. 
The Rev. R. Shaen, M.A., Mound Place, Edinburgh. 
Mr. W. Shields, Ridley Villas, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
T. T. Silver, Esq., Woodbridge, Suflfolk. 
The Rev. J. Smethurst, Moreton-Hampstead. 
The Rev. George Vance Smith, B.A., Cavendish Place, Man- 
Henry Smith, Esq., Highfield House, Edgbaston. 
Mrs. Smith, Rose Hill, Handsworth, near Birmingham. 
The Rev. William Smith, Rochdale. 
Miss Solly, Marlborough Buildings, Bath. 
John Souchay, Esq., Beavor Park, Didsbury. 
Mrs. Speir, Stanstead-Bury. 
Samuel Spurrctt, Esq., Banbury. 


Mr. Thomas Standring, Piccadilly, Manchester. 

The Rev. George Heap Stanley, Tavistock. 

The Rev. Frederick W. Stevens, Staly-Bridge.— Two Copies. 

Mrs. Stone, Rutland Street, Lieicester. 

Samuel Stone, Esq., Elm Field, near Leicester. 

Miss Stovin, Ashgate, near Chesterfield. 

John Strutt, Esq., Belper. — ^Two Copies. 

The Rev. Edward Tagart, F.O.S., F.S. A., Bayswater. 

The Rev. J. J. Tayler, B.A., York Place, Manchester. 

Miss Taylor, Diss. 

Richard Taylor, Esq., F.L.S., F.S. A., Charterhouse Square, 

T. L. Taylor, Esq., Starston, Norfolk. 
Mr. William Taylor, Beech Lane, Macclesfield. 
James Terrell, Esq., Exeter. 
The Rev. J. H. Thorn, Liverpool. 
Miss Thomas, Bowdon. 
The Rev. Thomas Felix Thomas, Ipswich. 
Thomas Thomely, Esq., M.P., Mount Street, Liverpool. 
Mr. Richard Timmins, Hurst Street, Birmingham. 
T. W. Tottie, Esq., Bush Grove, Leeds. 
J. Aspinall Turner, Esq., Pendlebury, near Manchester. 
The Rev. W. Turner, Loyd Street, Manchester. 
The Rev. W. Turner, Jun., M. A., Halifax. 

The Rev. A. M. Walker, Yeovil. 

The Rev. S. Walker, Highbury Place, Bristol. 

The Rev. C. Wallace, M. A., Hale Lodge, near Altrincham. 

Miss Wallace, Hale Lodge. 

Mr. Robert Wallace, St. Thomas's Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

William Wansey, Esq., Riches Court, Lime Street, London. 

T. A. Ward, Esq., Park House, Sheffield. 

John Warren, Esq., Alford Place, Aberdeen. 

A. Kippis Watson, Esq., Temple, London. 

John Watson, Esq., Tavistock Square, London. 

subscribers' names. xi 

T. Sanden Watson, M. D., Lansdown Crescent, Bath« 

The Rev. Qeorge H. Wells, M. A., Gk>rton. 

The Rev. James Whitehead, Ainsworth, near Bolton. 

The Rev. W. Whitelegge, M. A., Cork. 

The Rev. Edward Whitfield, Ilminster. 

The Rev. Charles Wicksteed, B. A., Leeds. 

Thomas Wilkins, Esq., Mackworth, near Derby. (Deceased.) 

William Wills, Esq., Park Mount, Edgbaston. 

Thomas Wilson, Esq., Fell House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

W. Winstanley, M.D., West Cliff, Preston. 

The Rev. S. Wood, B. A., Albert Road, Regent's Park, London. 

W. Rayner Wood, Esq., Singleton Lodge, near Manchester. — 

Two Copies. 
The Rev. J. C. Woods, B. A., Northampton. 
Arthur Woolley, Esq., Stockport. 
Thomas Woolley, Esq., Alderley. 

Robert Worthington, Esq., Crumpsall Hall, near Manchester. 
The Rev. J. Reynell Wreford, St. Michael's Hill, Bristol. 
Mr. George Wright, Chesterfield. 

The Rev. John Wright, B. A., Chester Road, Macclesfield. 
Robert William Wright, Esq., East Place, Hackney. 

James Yates, Esq., M.A., F.L.S., F.Q.S., Lauderdale House, 

Joseph Brook Yates, Esq., F.S. A., West Dingle, Liverpool. 
Miss Yates, Famfield, Liverpool. 

Chapel Library, Banbury. 

— — — Bradford, Yorkshire ; per Mrs. Stephen Humble, 

Idle, near Bradford. 
— — — Bridport. 

(Elder Yard), Chesterfield. 


(Gravel-Pit), Hackney. 

(Northgate End), Halifax. 



Chapel Library, IlminBter. 
^^— Enutaford. 

(MiU-HiU), Leeds. 

■ Lmcoln. 

(Little Portland Street), London. 

^— (Cross Street), Manchester. 

(Upper Brook Street), Manchester. 

— — — Monton. 

— — — Newbury. 

— — — (Hanover Square), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

■ Newington Green. 

Newport, Isle of Wight. 

(High Pavement), Nottingham. 

^— — • Shrewsbury. 


— — — Stockport. 

(Mary Street), Taunton. 

(Westgate), Wakefield. 

Manchester New College Library. 

Ministers* Library, Dublin; per the Rev. W. H. Drummonc 
D.D., and the Rev. Qeorge A. Armstrong, A.B. 



A glance at the body of this work is sufficient to shew, that the most 
coDYenient division of a History of Antitrinitarianism, from the Refor- 
mation to the close of the seyenteenth century, is into the three following 
Periods. I. Its rise in the time of Servetus, and his earlier contempora- 
ries, n. Its gradual and steady progress till the death of Ernest Sohner, 
and the ineffectual attempts of a few of his favourite pupils to prolong its 
existence in the University of Altorf. HI. Its suppression in that Uni- 
versity by the expulsion of the Antitrinitarian students, and the vicissi- 
tudes to which it was afterwards exposed in the kingdom of Poland ; 
together with the banishment of the Socinians in a body from that 
country, and their subsequent dispersion over the other nations of 
Europe. To these three Periods the author has had an eye in the 
distribution of his work into volumes. It was found desirable on more 
accounts than one, but chiefly for purposes of reference, to maintain 
the succession of biographical notices in an unbroken series. The 
Articles, therefore, are numbered consecutively, from one to three hun- 
dred and sixty. But each volume, at the same time, exhibits Antitri* 
nitarianism under a different aspect, as regards its external condition, 
and introduces a separate Period in its history. 

To some readers the abbreviations occasionally employed may stand 
in need of explanation. On this subject it is unnecessary to say more, 
than that Oerm., Sup., Bah, Pohn,, OaL, Belg. and Lat.^ being abbre- 
viated forms of Qermanice, Htspanice, Italice, Polanice, OaUtce, Belgice 
and Zatine, denote that the proper names, or titles of books, with which 
they stand connected, are respectively in the German, Spanish, BaUan, 
Polish, French, Dutch and Latin languages. 

The author regrets, that, during the revision of the proof-sheets, a 
few errors escaped his observation, till it was too late to correct them. 
A list of such of these as he has subsequently noticed will be found 
under the head Cobbioemda, in the next page ; and it is only an act 
of justice to add, that they might have been more numerous than they 
are, but for the vigilant attention of his printer. 



P. xxW, line 6. For " adTantages/' read adyantage. 
150, — 27. — « ihall,"— he shall. 
266, — 16. — « Dean Paul'a,"— Dean of St Paul's. 





32. For "Badamius," read Budzinius. 
11. — " John,"—James. 

21-2. « Morstinius," and not « Morscovius," should haye 
been designated ** Starost of Philopoyia.' 

6. For ** J«na" read Jena. 
11. — " Calb,"— Kalb. 
29. — " Art. 188,"— Art 182. 
27. — " Art 193,"— Art. 192. 

4. — "Pistorius,"- Pastorius. 



29. For " Elutherop," read Eleutherop. 

29. — •< Pistorio,"- Pastorio. 

27. — " Berthadigung," — Verthadigung. 


Vol. Pace. 

Pbbpacb I. XTU. 

Chxonolooical Table, or Conspectus of the Principal Events 
illnstratiTe of the Progress of Antitrinitarianism, from 

the Reformation to the Close of the Seventeenth Century — zzxv 

HxfTOSiCAL iNTRODuenoN, Containing a Review of the State 
of Religious Parties, and a Sketch of the Progress of 
XJnitarianism in England, from the Reformation to the 

Close of the Serenteenth Century — 1 

Reign of Henry Yin — 3 

EdwardVI — 6 

Mary — 15 

Eliiabeth — 81 

— ^ James I — 42 

CharlesI — 62 

Commonwealth — 118 

Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell — 118 

Richard CromweU — 186 

Interregnum — 187 

Reign of Charles n — 188 

James n — 179 

Williamm — 187 

AMTrrBiNTrAsiAN Biookapht: 

Part I. AH. 1—8 — 895 

- n. — 7—195 n. 1 

- m. —196—860 in. 1 

Apfbmsix — 589 

Imdbz — 609 


The following work has been written amidst a 
variety of other occupations, and has been laid 
aside, from time to time, as other engagements 
required, and resumed, at intervals, as health and 
leisure permitted, for several years past. The 
author has often felt, as the range of his inquiries 
was 'enlarged and extended, how little he knew, 
when he entered upon his labours, and how little 
is known by Unitarians in general, of the history 
of those venerable confessors and martyrs, who led 
the way in freeing the religion of Jesus from some 
of its grossest abuses; and, in particular, what 
noble and costly sacrifices some of them made in 
defence of those primary doctrines of Christianity, 
— ^the Supremacy of the Father, and the Subordi- 
nation of his Son, Jesus Christ. This feeling has 
often sustained him, and urged him to persevere, 
amidst difficulties and discouragements of no ordi- 
nary kind ; and he trusts, that the goodly array of 



names, which adorns the following pages, will have 
its effect, in inducing many of his readers to conti- 
nue firm in the profession of obnoxious truth, and 
in stimulating them to fresh exertions in a cause, 
which in their minds is identified with that of pure 
and unadulterated Christianity. 

The plan which originally suggested itself to the 
author was, first, to point out the origin, and trace 
the gradual development, of the doctrine of the Tri- 
nity ; secondly, to produce testimonies of Ante-Ni- 
cene writers to the Supremacy of the Father ; and 
thirdly, to give a series of biographical notices of 
those, who, since the general reception of the doc- 
trine of the Trinity among Christians, have rejected 
or impugned that doctrine. The first and second 
parts of this plan he soon found it necessary to 
abandon, not on account of any difficulty which 
there would have been in bringing together the 
requisite proofs, but because the work would have 
extended over too wide a space, and would have 
involved an amount of labour and expense, too 
great for him to encounter. The question then 
arose, whether he should commence with those 
Christian Fathers, who, in the fourth century, dis- 
tinguished themselves by their opposition to the 
Trinity, and descend, in the regular order of time, 
to the present day, dividing the whole into Three 
Periods,^ — ^the Patristic, the Scholastic, and the 
Protestant ; or whether he should commence with 
the Reformation, and confine himself to those, who 


have since that time distinguished themselves by 
their advocacy of the Divine Unity, or the doctrine 
of One God in one person. Necessity again com- 
pelled him to make choice of the latter plan, on 
account of the too comprehensive nature of the for- 
mer. But when he saw his materials increasing 
upon him so rapidly, that the work, instead of being 
confined, as he had expected, within two or three 
volumes, would probably have extended to at least 
twice that number, impressed with the value of the 
Horatian maxim, 

Vitse summa breyis spem nos vetat inchoare longam, 

(Od., L. i. 4, 16), 

he resolved at once to contract its limits, and con- 
tent himself with bringing it down to the close of 
the seventeenth century ; leaving it to others, who 
might be favoured with the requisite degree of 
health and leisure, to carry it forward to the pre- 
sent time. 

It now became a matter for consideration, whe- 
ther he should do more than make a selection of 
names from the works of Sandius and Bock, omit- 
ting those of least celebrity. But in attempting to 
carry out this idea, he soon felt, that it would be 
difficult to draw the line ; and that he should pro- 
bably lay himself open to the charge of having made 
an arbitrary selection. It thus became apparent, 
that he must either insert all the names which had 
been brought together by the above-mentioned wri- 
ters, or pass over those of many, who, though un- 



known to the English reader, were eminent in their 
day, and contributed, each in his own sphere, to 
the diffusion of an enlarged and liberal Theology. 
To have adopted the latter plan would have been 
to produce a partial and imperfect work, which 
would have satisfied neither the author himself, nor 
his readers. No alternative therefore was left ; and 
the result he now ventures to lay before the public, 
convinced that, though some of the minor details 
contained in these volumes may have but little in- 
terest for the general reader, the most minute will 
not be without their value to the bibliographer, or 
the student of Ecclesiastical History. 

It is possible, notwithstanding all the author's 
care, that the names of some able defenders of the 
Unitarian cause have been omitted. Should this 
prove to be the case, he will regret the fact, but 
may allege, by way of apology, that the present 
being the first attempt to produce an " Antitrinita. 
rian Biography " on a large scale, in the English 
language, he is entitled to the indulgence usually 
accorded by the candid and liberal to first attempts. 
He begs to state, however, that no name, belonging 
to the sixteenth or seventeenth century, has been 
intentionally omitted, which Sandius and Bock have 
included in their works, except those of Melchior 
Hoffman, David George, and Martin Seidelius, of 
whom memoirs will be found in the Appendix;* 

• Nos. III. and XUI. 


and Francis Joseph Burrhus, or Borri, the Alche- 
mist, who created a great sensation in Italy and 
Grermany during the latter half of the seventeenth 
century, and of whom Schelhom and Bayle have 
given accounts, which will fully justify the omis- 
sion.* On the other hand, no pains have been 
spared to make the present work as complete as 
possible, by the addition of such names as had es- 
caped the observation of those authors. In making 
these additions, the object has been to bring toge- 
ther the scattered notices of Antitrinitarians, which 
lay dispersed over the works of English and foreign 
writers ; and more especially, as regards the former, 
to collect the valuable materials, which have been 
accumulating during the last half century, and 
which form a very interesting portion of the records 
of Unitarian periodical literature. The author has 
likewise to acknowledge his obligations to those, 
who have either published works expressly on the 
history of modem Unitarianism, or written separate 
biographical accounts of eminent Antitrinitarians, 
or incorporated such accounts in works on other 
subjects. In short, he lays claim to no higher 
merit, than that of having brought together, from 
sources which are inaccessible to the general reader, 
a mass of valuable and curious matter, illustrative 
of the lives and writings of Continental and English 

• Schelhof'tiii Arooenitates Literariae, Tom. V. p. 141. Bayle, Die- 
tionaire Historique et Critique, Art. Borbi. 



The proper names of persans have usually been 
retained in their Latinized forms, partly because it 
is by these that the persons themselves are gene- 
rally known to English readers ; and partly because 
it was found impossible, in many cases, to give 
them imder any other form, in which the identity 
of the individual could be recognized. It was long 
the custom of the literati of Europe to translate 
their names into Latin or Greek; and many of 
the most eminent literary men of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries are now known to the world 
by such names only. It would be idle and pedan- 
tic in any one to attempt, in the present day, to 
divest them of these classical designations. Who, 
for example, that is at all desirous of escaping the 
charge of literary affectation, would think of calling 
Erasmus by his original name, Gerard^ or of giving 
to Melanchthon the name of Schwartzerde ? In 
some cases the author of the present work has been 
guided solely by his ear, as to the retention or re- 
jection of the Latin termination of a name; and 
when a preference has been given to the Latinized 
form, on account of its having the sanction of long 
usage in its favour, or from any other motive, the 
original name, with few exceptions, has been sub- 
joined in a parenthesis. 

The proper names of places the author has gene- 
rally given, as he found them spelt in geographical 
dictionaries, maps, and other sources of information 
of a similar kind. In a few instances, particularly 


when the place is an obscure one, or happens not 
to have been mentioned in any of the authorities 
which he has consulted, he may possibly have failed 
in his attempts to discover the true orthography. 
But no one can imagine the difficulty of this part 
of his labours, who has not himself been engaged 
in a similar undertaking. 

As regards the arrangement of the present work, 
it may be proper to state, that the author has taken 
as his model the " Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum " 
of Sandius, to which, and to the " Historia Anti- 
trinitariorum " of Bock, it is indebted for a large 
portion of its details. The " Bibliotheca Antitrini- 
tariorum " of Sandius was published in 1684, under 
the editorial superintendence of Benedict Wissowa- 
tius, Junior ; and the two volumes of Bock's " His- 
toria Antitrinitariorum" were completed just a 
century later. The former has arranged the names 
of those, of whose lives and writings he gives an 
account, in chronological order, beginning with the 
sixteenth century, and bringing the work down 
to his own times. The latter, who has preferred 
an alphabetical arrangement, professes to give an 
account of those Antitrinitarians, who flourished 
during the two centuries and a half preceding the 
time at which he wrote. His " Bibliotheca Anti- 
trinitariorum," which forms the first volume of his 
work, notwithstanding the diflferent mode of arrange- 
ment, and the vast quantity of additional matter 
brought together, may be regarded more in the light 


of an enlarged and corrected edition of Sandius, than 
as a distinct work. Sandius's " Bibliotheca," in fact, 
formed the nucleus of that of Bock, as it does also 
of the present work, and must of every future pro- 
duction of the same kind. 

The advantages of Sandius's arrangement over 
that of Bock is too obvious to be dwelt upon. Bock, 
in giving to the first volume of his work the form 
of a biographical dictionary, evidently intended to 
produce a book for occasional consultation only. 
Sandius, on the other hand, was desirous of exhi- 
biting the lives of those whom he commemorated, 
as they appeared on the stage of the world ; and of 
shewing the progress of Antitrinitarianism from 
the time of the Reformation to his own, as deduci- 
ble from the lives and writings of Antitrinitarians 
themselves. This also has been the leading aim of 
the present writer. He is ftdly aware, however, of 
the inconveniences, as well as the advantages, of 
such an arrangement. One unavoidable result of 
it is, that a single article often extends over a long 
series of years, and that the current of one man's 
life often runs into that of several others, so as to 
defy all attempts at strict classification in the order 
of time. The chain of events is occasionally bro- 
ken, or suspended; and incidents, which occurred 
at long intervals, are sometimes brought into sud- 
den and close contact. Some facts are necessarily 
anticipated ; others are unavoidably delayed. To re- 
medy these inconveniences, a Chronological Table 


has been firamed, which the reader will find at the 
close of this Preface, and in which most of the lead- 
ing facts are set down under the year in which they 

The work of Sandius contains accounts of Anti- 
trinitarian authors only. It was at first intended 
that the present work should, in like manner, be 
confined to such as had written in defence of the 
Divine Unity. But it soon became evident, that 
this would lead to the exclusion of many, who, 
though they had not advocated the cause of Unita- 
rianism with their pens, had materially aided in its 
diffusion by their pious zeal and liberal contribu- 
tions ; and not a few, who were restrained from an 
open profession of it by the operation of persecuting 
laws, or by the fear of dissolving long-formed and 
deeply-cherished connexions. The plan of a mere 
Bibliotheca, therefore, was abandoned ; and no one 
was passed over, from the fact of his not having 
written a book in defence of his opinions. Still it 
is not improbable, that the names of some are omit- 
ted, of whom the author has not been fortunate 
enough to meet with an account ; for it has been 
the policy of some writers studiously to conceal the 
names of those, who have suffered in the cause of 
heterodoxy, and borne their testimony against the 
corrupt doctrines of a dominant Church. Of such 
it may be said, in the words of Cowper,* 

• The Task, B. v. 


They lived unknown. 
Till persecution dragged them into £une. 
And chased them up to heaven . Their ashes flew — 
No marble tells us whither. With their names 
No bard embalms and sanctifies his song : 
And History, so warm on meaner themes, 
Is cold on this. 

It long remained a matter of doubt, whether the 
present work should be bibliographical, as weU as 
biographical. There appeared much to be urged on 
both sides of this question. It was very clear, that 
the biographical portion would be imperfect, with- 
out a catalogue of the writings of those, of whose 
lives some account was given. At the same time, 
it appeared extremely undesirable to transfer to a 
work, intended principally for the perusal of En- 
glish readers, the titles of some hundreds of volumes, 
or treatises of various kinds, in a dead language. 
As a general rule, therefore, the titles of Latin 
works written by foreigners are translated into En- 
glish. In other cases, the author has felt himself 
at fiill liberty to give the titles in a translated, or 
an untranslated form ; but has never intentionally 
left it doubtful, in what language the books them- 
selves were written. 

A very large portion of the works of Sandius and 
Bock is taken up with an account of manuscripts, 
which have never seen the light. Many of these 
are supposed, and some are known, to be still con- 
tained in private or public libraries on the conti- 
nent; but as minute accounts of them, except in 


special cases, would have proved neither interesting 
to the general reader, nor useful to the book-collec- 
tor, the author has frequently contented himself 
with giving the bare titles of such manuscripts. 
He has also found it necessary in many instances, 
for the sake of brevity, to economise space, in a 
similar manner, with regard to that portion of the 
printed works, of which the titles only are men- 

As so much has already been said respecting 
the works of Sandius and Bock, it would perhaps 
be thought tedious to dwell upon those of other 
writers, of which a more partial use has been made. 
But the object of this Preface will not be answered, 
without the addition of a few words on this subject. 

Lamy published in French an anonymous work, 
to which he gave the title, " Histoire du Socinian- 
isme." In this work he introduces a great mass of 
extraneous matter ; and is often led, by ignorance 
or prejudice, into statements and representations, 
on which little reliance can be placed. A very 
limited use has therefore been made of his work, 
in the present volumes. Another French writer 
(Bayle) has done much to throw light upon the 
history of Antitrinitarianism. His " Dictionaire 
Historique et Critique" is a work of unparalleled 
research, and one of the most ample storehouses of 
biographical literature existing in any language. It 
has frequently been consulted, and generally with 
advantage. Much valuable assistance, in the ear- 


lier part of the present volumes, has also been de- 
rived from F. TrechseVs recent publication, entitled, 
" Die Protestantischen Antitrinitarier vor Faustus 
Socin;" of which the First Book, published in 1839, 
contains an account of Servetus and his predeces- 
sors, Hetzer, Denck, Campanus, Adam Pastoris, 
Claude of Savoy, and others ; and the Second, pub- 
lished in 1844, is devoted to an account of Lselius 
Socinus and his contemporaries, Ochinus,Gribaldus, 
Blandrata and Gentilis. Of Hlgen's " Vita Laelii 
Socini Specimen Historico - Ecclesiasticum," pub- 
lished in Svo, at Leipzic, in 1814, as well as of his 
" S5rmbolarum ad Vitam et Doctrinam Laelii Socini 
illustrandam Particula I. et II.," in 4to, which fol- 
lowed it after an interval of fourteen or fifteen 
years, considerable use has been made; and the 
latter has been found particularly valuable in clear- 
ing up some difficulties respecting the celebrated 
society at Vicenza. Frequent reference has like- 
wise been made to Zeltnefs " Historia Crypto- 
Socinismi," as shewing the extent to which Anti- 
trinitarianism had insinuated itself into the Uni- 
versity of Altorf, and other continental seats of 
learning, in the early part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. This work contains much, which Bock has 
either overlooked, or only cursorily glanced at ; and 
some of the most interesting facts recorded in it, to 
which Bock had made no allusion, or which he had 
but slightly noticed, have been incorporated into 
the following pages. Much information has also 


been gleaned from the epistolary correspondence of 
eminent theologians, particularly that of Calvin^ 
Socinus and Ruarus ; and in the bihliographical 
portion of the work, frequent use has been made of 
Vogt and Walchius. Numerous other authorities 
have been consulted, of which the proper acknow- 
ledgments will be made when necessary, but upon 
which it would be tedious to dwell in the present 

Many of the individuals, of whom some account 
will be found in these volumes, and among them 
some of those who were most eminent for their 
learning, talents and virtues, have not yet had 
justice done to them in our own language. The 
** Anti - Socinianism " of Chewney^ for instance, is 
not only contemptible in a literary point of view, 
but the AipccTiapxo** which is a part of it, is nothing 
more nor less than a series of disgusting caricatures. 
Its author professes, indeed, to give an account of 
the principal advocates of the Unitarian doctrine ; 
but he shews the unwarrantable bias, as well as the 
bitter and unchristian spirit in which he writes, in 
the very title-page, by calling that doctrine " this 
damnable Socinian Heresie," and representing his 
own work under the designation of '' a cage of un- 
clean birds." This, however, is a fair sample of the 
treatment which such men as Servetus, Lselius and 
Faustus Socinus, Francis Davidis, Lismaninus, Du- 
dithius, and many others, meet with at the hands 
of such zealots ; nor can it be denied, that the most 


impartial orthodox writers, foreign as weU as En- 
glish, when treating upon the lives of eminent 
Unitarians, too frequently indulge in the language 
of vituperation, as though they despaired of secur- 
ing the attention of their readers without a plentiful 
seasoning of the " odium theologicum." Even Bock, 
who is as little chargeable with this fault as most 
Trinitarians, sometimes disgraces himself by the use 
of epithets, which, though in the estimation of some 
readers they may give a zest to the subject upon 
which he is treating, are peculiarly inappropriate 
in a biographical narrative which lays claim to the 
character of faithfulness and impartiality. 

There may possibly be some, to whom the title 
" Antitrinitarian Biography" will appear objection- 
able, as being of too antagonistic a character. But 
it was not adopted hastily, or without due reflection* 
Antitrinitarian is the term used by previous writers, 
in the titles of their works on the same subject ; 
and this term expresses more exactly than any other 
(that of Unitarian not excepted) the idea intended 
to be conveyed. " The Trinitarian," says Dr. Chan- 
ning,* " believes that the One God is three distinct 
persons^ called Father, Son and Holy Ghost ; and 
he believes that each of these persons is equal to 
the other two in every perfection, that each is the 
only true God, and yet that the three are only one 
Gt)d. This is Trinitarianism." Now it is the sole 

• Memoir of William Ellery Channing. London, 1848. Vol. I. Part ii. 
Chap. iii. p. 411, Note. 


object of the present work to give some account of 
those who have rejected Trinitarianism, or the doc- 
trine of one God in three persons ; and this object 
could not have been so correctly or appropriately 
expressed by the use of any word, as its opposite, — 
Antitrinitarianism. There are many Trinitarians 
who question the right of the believer of one God 
in one person to the name Unitarian as a distinctive 
appellation, because the assumption of it seems to 
imply, that, while he is a believer in one God, they 
are believers in more Gods than one ; whereas they 
profess to believe in one God as much as he. But 
the term Antitrinitarian is liable to no such objec- 
tion. It clearly defines what is meant ; and there- 
fore answers the purpose for which language was 
framed, and to which it ought to be applied, by all 
who wish to make themselves understood. 

Among the number of those impugners of the 
doctrine of the Trinity, who are introduced to the 
notice of the reader in the following work, it will 
be seen, that, from the earliest period in the history 
of Protestantism, much diversity of opinion pre- 
vailed among them on minor points ; while all were 
agreed in upholding the absolute Supremacy of the 
Father, and in attributing to the Son a lower rank 
in the scale of existence, and a delegated authority 
in carrying on the work which he had to perform. 
A similar agreement, combined with a corresponding 
diversity, still exists among those who are known, 
in our own country and our own age, by the name 


of Unitarians; and such doubtless will continue to 
be the case, as long as they exercise their own judg- 
ments on religious subjects, and refuse to be bound 
by the decisions of fallible beings like themselves. 
" Late hoc patet nomen, et varii generis homines 
designat, quibus hoc unum commune est, quod 
omnes verse aliquid distinctionis in divina natura 
ferre nolunt."* 

As this work is intended principally for the use 
of English readers, it has been thought desirable to 
prefix a short Historical Introduction, containing 
a review of the ecclesiastical affairs of England, and 
particularly of the progress of Unitarianism from 
the Reformation to the close of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, drawn chiefly from contemporaneous sources, 
in order that the reader may be enabled the more 
readily to connect the biographical particulars, re- 
corded in the body of the work, with the ecclesias- 
tical history of his own country. A part of this 
Introduction was inserted in the first two volumes 
of the current series of the Christian Reformer, 
under the signature " R. W." It was entitled, 
" Historical Sketch of the Trinitarian Controversy 
from the Accession of William III. to the passing 
of the Blasphemy Act ;" and appeared there as part 
of a work, which the author was preparing for pub- 
lication, and which he now ventures, with much 
diffidence, to lay before the world. Some of the 

* Mosh. Inst. Hist. Eccles., Scec. xvii. Sect iL P. ii. Cap. vi. § yi. 
p. 895. 



earlier biographical articles also were inserted in 
the Monthly Repository for 1831, but without any 
signature. At the time of their appearance in that 
work, it was known only to a fev persons, that they 
were contributed by the present writer. The au- 
thor has since heard them ascribed to the pen of 
another. In justice to himself, he now feels called 
upon to claim them as his own. 

Many thanks are due to those kind friends, who 
have enabled the author to commit this work to the 
press, without the risk of pecuniary loss, by favour- 
ing him with their names as subscribers. To these, 
as well as to a few other firiends, who have aided 
him by the loan of books, which his own library did 
not contain, and of which he was unable to procure 
a sight in any other way, he takes this opportunity 
of expressing his grateful sense of obligation. 

VOL. I. 






1527. Martin Cellarius publishes his treatise, ''De Operi- 

bus Dei," to which Wolfgang Fabricius Capito 
supplies the Preface. — Lewis Hetzer and John 
Denck publish a German translation of the books 
of the Prophets. 

1 528. Capito falls under a suspicion of Antitrinitarianism. 

— John Campanus settles at Wittenberg, and 
teaches that the Son is inferior to the Father. — 
John Denck dies of the plague at Basle. 

1529. Lewis Hetzer suffers death at Constance on a charge 

of blasphemy, Feb. 4th. 

1530. The Synod of Petricow prohibits the importation of 

heretical books into Poland. 
153L Servetus publishes his Seven Books "De Trinitatis 

1532. Servetus publishes his Dialogues ** De Trinitate." 

1534. Sigismund L, King of Poland, prohibits Polish stu- 

dents from resorting to foreign Universities. — 
Claude of Savoy disseminates Antitrinitarianism 
in Switzerland. 
The law against heretics in England is relaxed 
by the repeal of 2 Hen. IV. 

1535. John Valdez advocates the principles of the Refor- 



A. D. 

mation in Italy. — Ordinances against the Baptists, 
more commonly known by the name of Anabap- 
tists, are published at Cracow. 
Several Baptists seek refuge in England after the 
death of John Van Geelen. 

1537. Claude of Savoy returns to the North of Italy. 

1538. The Baptists in England are excepted firom an act 

of grace, and severely persecuted. Three men and 
one woman are condemned to bear faggots at 
Paul's-Cross; and a man and woman are burnt 
alive in Smithfield. 

1539. Catharine Vogel, the first Polish Unitarian, is burnt 

alive in the market-place at Cracow. — The liberty 
of the press is acknowledged by royal ordinance 
in Poland. — The writings of Servetus obtain an 
extensive circulation in the Venetian territory. 

1540. The order of Jesuits is established, Sept. S7th. 
The persecution of the Baptists in England conti- 
nues, and three of them are burnt on account of 
their religion, April 29th. 

1541. Sigismund I. threatens to deprive all who harbour 

heretical priests with loss of nobility. — Bemardine 
Ochinus forms an intimate friendship with John 
Valdez and Peter Martyr. 

1542. Ochinus makes his escape from Italy. — Servetus 

publishes his edition of Pagninus*s Bible. — Caspar 
Schwenckfeldt warns the Protestants of Augsburg 
and Strasburg of the Antitrinitarian opinions of 
Claude of Savoy. — CamiUus Siculus and Coelius 
Secundus Curio meet in the Valteline. — Camillus 
settles at Caspan. — The Synod of Petricow takes 
measures for the suppression of heresy, and peti- 
tions the King to carry into execution his own 
ordinances against it. 

1543. The Diet of Cracow formally grants to all Polish 

subjects the privilege of studying in foreign Uni- 


A. D. 

1544. The Synod of Petricow confirms its own decisions 
of 154^, and issues fresh injunctions against study- 
ing at the Lutheran Universities in Germany. 

1546. Secret assemblies for studying the Scriptures are 

held at Vicenza. — Servetus sends Calvin the first 
draught of his " Christianismi Restitutio." — Ste- 
phen Dolet is burnt at Paris on a charge of Athe- 
ism, Aug. 3rd. — Adam Pastoris is excluded from 
the society of the Baptists in Friesland for main- 
taining that the Father alone is the true God. — 
Spiritus (supposed to be the same person as Adam 
Pastoris) visits Cracow, and attacks the doctrine 
of the Trinity in a party of friends. 

1547. Lselius Socinus leaves Italy, and takes up his abode 

at Zurich. — Camillus Siculus removes from Cas- 
pan to Chiavenna, and is very zealous in the diffu- 
sion of his religious opinions. 
Henry VIII. dies, and is succeeded by Edward VI., 
Jan. £8th. — Ochinus and Peter Martyr visit En- 
gland at Cranmer's request. 

1548. Sigismund I., King of Poland, dies, and is succeed- 

ed by Sigismund Augustus, or Sigismund II. 
John Assheton, an English priest, having denied the 
doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of Christ, 
and the Holy Ghost, recants in the presence of 
Archbishop Cranmer, Dec. ^8th. 

1549. Francis Lismaninus is sent to Rome by the King of 

Poland, to congratulate Julius III., on his eleva- 
tion to the papal see. — The inquisitive disposition 
of Laelius Socinus becomes offensive to Calvin. 
An incredible number of Baptists suffer death in 
England, on account of their religion. 

1550. Claude of Savoy attacks the doctrine of the Trinity 

at Memmingen. — Lselius Socinus goes to study at 
Wittenberg, in the month of July. 
John a Lasco arrives in England, in the spring. — 
The Church of the Augustin Friars, in London, is 


A. D. 

granted by letters patent from Edward VI., for 
the use of foreign Protestants; and obtains the 
name of the Strangers' Church, July ^th. — John 
a Lasco is appointed Minister of this Church. — 
Antitrinitarianism begins to shew itself in England 
under various forms. 

1551. Lselius Socinus leaves Wittenberg in the month of 

June ; visits Poland, and completes the conversion 
of J^ismaninus in the autumn ; and at the end of 
the year returns to Switzerland. 
George Van Parris, a member of the Strangers' 
Church, suffers death on a charge of heresy, April 

1552. Calvin remonstrates with Lselius Socinus on account 

of the freedom of his investigations, January 1st. — 
Laetius visits his father at Bologna, in company 
with P. P. Vergerius, in the summer. — He renews 
his intimacy with Camillus Siculus, and imbibes 
many of his opinions. — The ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion in Poland is virtually abrogated by the Diet, 
which deprives the spiritual courts of the power 
of inflicting temporal punishment for heresy. 

1553. Andrew Fricius Modrevius is appointed by the 

Polish Diet secretary of legation to the Council 
of Trent. — Francis Lismaninus is commissioned by 
Sigismund Augustus to visit the chief Protestant 
countries of Europe, in order to purchase books 
for the royal library, and collect information re- 
specting the different Protestant Churches, institu- 
tions, rites, and modes of discipline. — He obtains 
from the Synod of Mordy, June 9th, a certificate, 
absolving him from the charge of Arianism, on the 
strength of which he sets out on his journey for 
Zurich. — Servetus publishes his " Christianismi 
Restitutio." — Lselius Socinus is at Geneva, when 
Servetus is cast into prison. — David George ad- 
dresses an intercessory letter to the Swiss Magis- 



A. O. 

tratesy entreating them to spare the life of Servetus, 
Oct. Ist. — Servetus is burnt alive for heresy at 
Geneva, Oct. ^th. — George Blandrata and John 
Paul Alciati leave Italy, and pass through the 
Grison territory in their way to Switzerland. 
Edward VI. dies, and is succeeded by Mary, July 
6th. — All foreigners are ordered to quit England, 
in consequence of which, Ochinus, Peter Martyr, 
and John a Lasco give up their appointments, and 
leave the country. 

1555. The first Synod of the Reformed in Poland is held 

at Pinczow, May 1st, at which Lismaninus is urged 
to return to that country. — Calvin addresses letters 
to Sigismund Augustus, and other influential Poles, 
on the progress of the Reformation. — Blandrata 
visits Poland for a short time. — Martin Crovicius, 
a priest in communion with the Catholic Church, 
marries. — A dogmatic union is effected between 
the Helvetic and Bohemian Churches in Poland, 
at the Synod of Kozminek, Aug. 24th — Sept. 2nd. 
Patrick Patingham is burnt at Uxbridge on a charge 
of Arianism, Aug. 29th. 

1556. The second Synod of the Reformed in Poland is 

held at Secemin, at which Gregory Pauli avows 
himself an Antitrinitarian, and Peter Gonesius 
expresses his belief in the articles of the Apostles' 
Creed, but rejects those of the Nicene and Atha- 
nasian Creeds, Jan. 24th. — Lismaninus, after re- 
peated delays, returns to Poland in the month of 
June. — The Diet of Warsaw enacts a law, granting 
permission to every Polish nobleman to introduce 
into his own house any mode of worship which he 
may think proper, pronded it is based on the 
Scriptures. — Blandrata returns to Italy, is impri- 
soned by the Inquisition at Pavia, makes his escape, 
and flies to Geneva. — Marianus Socinus, the father 
of Laelius, dies at Bologna, August 19th. 


A. D. 

Henry Nicolai, founder of the sect of Familists, 
visits England, and makes several converts among 
the common people. — Archdeacon Philpot writes 
his " Apology for spitting on an Arian." — William 
Fowling, John Simms, and Robert King abjure 

1557. James Aeon tins leaves Italy. 

1558. The Jesuits begin to obtain a footing in Poland. — 

Laelius Socinus visits Poland a second time. — 
Blandrata attends a Synod at Pinczow in the 
month of November, which contributes much to 
undermine the commonly received doctrine of the 
Trinity. — Matthew Gribaldus grants a temporary 
asylum to J. V. Gentilis at Fargias, for which he 
is imprisoned at Bern. — Gonesius further deve- 
lopes his views (vide A. D. 1556), and repudiates 
Infant Baptism, at the Synod of Brzest, in Lithu- 
ania, Dec. 15th. 
Dr. Traheron publishes his '' Readings against the 
Arians." — Mary, Queen of England, dies Nov. 
17th, and is succeeded by Elizabeth. 

1559. Ochinus visits Lismaninus, and at a private confer- 

ence at Pinczow attaches himself to the Antitri- 
nitarian party. — An attempt is made at the Diet 
of Petricow to deprive the Catholic Bishops of 
their senatorial dignity. — John a Lasco and Sta- 
nislaus Sarnicki, in order to check the growth of 
Antitrinitarianism, require a Confession of Faith 
respecting the Trinity from all the Ministers pre- 
sent at the tenth Synod of the Reformed, held at 
Pinczow, April 25th. — Peter Statorius arrives in 
Poland; and being naturalized as a noble, takes 
the name of Stoinsku — At the twelfth Synod of 
the Reformed, held at Pinczow Nov. 22nd, a long 
dispute is held with Stancarus on the mediatorial 
character of Christ, and a letter is presented from 
Remigius Chelmius, calling in question the pro- 



priety of addressing prayers to the Holy Spirit. — 
James Palaeologus escapes from a prison of the In- 
quisition, and flies from Italy into Germany. 
The Strangers' Church in Augustin Friars, having 
been suppressed by Mary, is restored by Elizabeth, 
and placed under the superintendence of Grindal. 
— The Rev. John Pullayne, who had published " A 
Tract against the Arians*' during the reign of Mary, 
is made Archdeacon of Colchester. 

1560. John a Lasco dies, and Peter Statorius delivers a 

funeral oration over his remains, which is printed, 
and dedicated to Lismaninus. — The Pinczovians 
publish a brief " Confession of Faith." — At the 
seventeenth Synod of the Reformed, held at Xionx 
in the month of September, Blandrata is for the 
first time designated an Elder of the Church of 
Little Poland. 
All Baptists are ordered to quit England. 

1561. Prince Nicholas Radzivil sends Blandrata vnth full 

powers to the nineteenth Synod of the Reformed, 
held at Pinczow, in the month of January. — Re- 
migius Chelmius, at the same Synod, renews his 
confession against the invocation of the Holy Spi- 
rit, (vide A. D. 1559,) in which Peter Statorius 
acquiesces. — Ochinus publishes a Catechism, in 
which he shews Antitrinitarian tendencies. — The 
Pinczovians publish a larger " Confession of Faith " 
(vide A.D. 1560). — Ludovico Fieri is excommuni- 
cated by the Synod of Coire for attacking the Di- 
vinity of Christ. — Lismaninus addresses a letter to 
Iwan Karninski, in which he asserts the Supre- 
macy of the Father, Sept. 10th. — At the twentieth 
Synod of the Reformed, held at Cracow Sept. 
16th, a letter of Calvin's is produced by Martin 
Czechovicius, exhorting the Ministers of Little Po- 
land to beware of Blandrata. — Lismaninus, in the 


A, D. 

month of December, addresses a second letter to 
Kaminski on the Supremacy of the Father. 

1 562. Andrew Dudithius and John Sylvester are deputed 

by the Hungarian clergy to attend the Council of 
Trent. — Blandrata presents a written Confession, 
couched in scriptural language, to the twenty-first 
Synod of the Reformed, held at Xionx, which is 
privately read, March 10th. — The same Confession 
is presented, and publicly read, at the twenty-se- 
cond Synod, held at Pinczow April 21st; and at the 
same Synod the use of unscriptural terms in preach- 
ing is forbidden. — Laelius Socinus dies at Zurich 
in the thirty-seventh year of his age, and his ne- 
phew Faustus, then residing at Lyons, immediately 
repairs to Zurich, and takes possession of his 
papers, in the month of May. — The Synod of 
Rogow evinces a leaning to the doctrines of Gre- 
gory Pauli, in the month of July. — A Synod, com- 
posed of a majority of the adherents of Gregory 
Pauli, is held at Pinczow in the month of August, 
at which Samicki, the leader of the Trinitarian 
party, refuses to attend. — Giulio Guirlada suffers 
martyrdom at Venice on account of his religion, 
Oct. 19th. — A Synod is held at Pinczow, Nov. 
4th, at which a motion is made by the heterodox, 
and opposed by the orthodox party, that the Hel- 
vetic Confession shall be signed, but that each sub- 
scriber shall be at liberty to interpret it as he 
pleases. — A conference is held at Petricow, which 
leads to a final rupture between the Trinitarian 
and Antitrinitarian party. — At this conference 
John Cazanovius joins the Antitrinitarians. 

1563. Ochinus publishes his two volumes of " Dialogues," 

for which he is expelled from the city, and terri- 
tory of Zurich. — Blandrata accepts an invitation 
to become court physician to John Sigismund II., 


A. D. 

Prince of Transylvania, and converts Francis Da- 
vidis. — ^John Valentine Gentilis holds a public dis- 
putation on the doctrine of the Trinity at the 
Synod of Pinczow. — A Synod of the adherents of 
the Helvetic Church is convened by Samicki, 
under the influence of Bonar, at Cracow, which 
condemns the Antitrinitarian doctrines in the most 
unqualified manner, May 14th. — Another Synod, 
consisting of Antitrinitarians, is convened at Cra- 
cow; and, under the presidency of Lutomirski, 
declares the resolutions of the preceding Synod 
null and void. — An Antitrinitarian Synod is held 
at Mordy, at which forty-two Ministers sign a 
Confession, denying the Divinity of Christ, June 
6th. — Lismaninus draws up a short account of the 
Trinity, in opposition to Stancarus and others, at 
Grodno, August 17th. — The first Protestant Po- 
lish Bible is printed at Brest, under the auspices 
of Prince Nicholas Radzivil. 

1564^, Ochinus, after his exile from Zurich, arrives in Po- 
land, and preaches in his native language to a 
mixed congregation of Italians and Poles at Cra- 
cow. — An ordinance is passed by the Diet at 
Parczow, August 17 th, by which all foreigners, 
exercising the ministry in Poland, and at the same 
time impugning the doctrine of the Trinity, are 
required to quit the country three days after 
Michaelmas. — Ochinus is driven from Poland by 
this ordinance. — Erasmus Otvinovius tramples upon 
the consecrated wafer in the streets of Lublin, and 
is acquitted, because there is no existing law for 
the punishment of such an ofience. 

1565. Aeon tins publishes his ^^ Satanae Stratagemata'* at 
Basle. — Dudithius begins to waver in his attach- 
ment to the Church of Rome. — The Diet of Petri- 
cow, consisting of deputations from all the ortho- 
dox Reformed Churches in Poland, passes a reso- 



A. D. 

lution, excluding Antitrinitarians from all future 
meetings of Trinitarian Protestants ; and the Re- 
formed Church is thenceforward divided into two 
distinct bodies. The Greater Church profess- 
ing, and The Lesser Church rejecting the doc- 
trine of the Trinity. — At the Synod of Brest, in 
Cujavia, June 10th, steps are taken for setting at 
rest the dispute, which has arisen among the Anti- 
trinitarians on the subject of Infant Baptism ; but 
no definite conclusion is arrived at. — At the Synod 
of Wengrow, Dec. 25th, many of the first families 
in Poland, and the neighbouring countries, join 
the Antitrinitarian Churches ; the Baptism of In- 
fants is declared to have the sanction neither of 
Scripture, nor primitive tradition ; and every one 
is left to follow his own conviction, as to the mode 
of administering this ordinance. 

1566. The resolution of the Synod of Wengrow, respect- 

ing Infant Baptism, is rejected by the Church of 
Wilna. — Matthew Gribaldus dies of an infectious 
disease. — The first disputation on the Trinity in 
Transylvania is held at Weissenburg, Feb. 24th. — 
Franceso Sega de Rovigo suffers martyrdom at 
Venice, on account of his religion, Feb. 25th. — 
George Schomann, and his hearers at Pinczow, 
embrace the Unitarian doctrine. — A conference is 
held at the Diet of Petricow, convened by royal 
mandate, for the purpose of bringing about a fur- 
ther pacification of the Reformed Churches, but is 
productive of no definite result. — Gentilis is con- 
denmed on a charge of heresy, and beheaded at 
Bern. — A Protestant Synod is convened at Thorda, 
and another at Maros-Vasarhely, in Transylvania, 
for the purpose of discussing the doctrine of the 
Trinity ; but no conclusion is arrived at. 

1567. The Synod of Lancut, at which John Securinus 

publicly defends the opinions of Lselius Socinus, 


A. D. 

and which is convened for the purpose of establish- 
ing a uniformity of doctrine in the Antitrinitarian 
Churches, breaks up without coming to any deci- 
sion. — The Synod of Skrzynna, at which John 
Securinus again defends the opinions of Laelius 
Socinus, exhibits a strong division between those 
Antitrinitarians who admit, and those who deny 
the preexistence of Christ; and a resolution is 
adopted, June 29th, which maintains an external 
union between the parties. — The Ministers of the 
Antitrinitarian Churches in Poland and Transyl- 
vania publish a work in two books, entitled, '' De 
falsa et vera unius Dei Patris, Filii et Spiritus 
Sancti Cognitione." — Prince Nicholas Radzivil 
dies, and his sons return to the communion of 
the Catholic Church. — Dudithius marries, and re- 
nounces the Catholic religion. 

1568. John Sigismund, Prince of Transylvania, appoints a 
conference to be held in the royal palace at Weis- 
senburg, to discuss the doctrine of the Trinity, 
and approves of the opinion of those, who acknow- 
ledge One God in one person, and who are thence- 
forward called Unitarians, and permitted to enjoy 
the free exercise of their religion in his dominions. 
— Stanislaiis Famovius, who advocates the preex- 
istence of Christ, separates from the other Polish 
Antitrinitarians, and is followed by Martin Cze- 
chovicius, John Niemojevius, Stanislaiis Wisnovius, 
John Falconius, George Schomann, and others. 

5(39. Poland and Lithuania are united by an act of the 
Diet of Lublin. — The town of Racow is built by 
John Sieninius. — Hermann Van Flekwyk is burnt, 
on a charge of heresy, at Bruges, June 10th. — 
Jerome Philipovius, Simon Ronemberg, George 
Schomann, and others, make an abortive attempt 
to effect a union with the Baptists of Moravia. — 
The first Antitrinitarian Baptist Church is formed 


A. D. 

at Cracow, and Gregory Pauli is appointed its 
Pastor. — Francis Davidis presents to the Synod of 
Waradein a Confession of Faith concerning the 
Trinity, Oct. 10th. — Minus Celsus leaves Italy, 
and seeks a refuge in the Rhsetian Alps. 

1570. The Act of Union, called the ''Consensus Sando- 

miriensis," by which the Churches in Great and 
Little Poland, Russia, Lithuania and Samogitia, 
following the Confessions of Augsburg, Bohemia 
and Switzerland, are formed into one body, is con- 
cluded at Sandomir, April 14th. — The above Act 
is confirmed, and further developed by the Synod 
of Posnania, May 18th. — Martin Czechovicius, 
John Niemojevius, and several others abandon 
the doctrine of Christ's preexistence. (Vide A. D. 

1571. John Sigismund, Prince of Transylvania, dies, and 

is succeeded by Stephen Bathory, March 14th. — 
Adam Neuser makes his escape from Germany. — 
John Sylvanus is beheaded on a charge of heresy, 
by order of Frederick, Elector Palatine. 

1572. Adam Neuser and John Sommer arrive at Cracow 

in the spring, and leave Poland for Transylvania, 
April 15th. — Adam Neuser is apprehended as a 
spy at Clausenburg, and sent to Constantinople, 
where he makes a feigned profession of Mahomet- 
anism, to save his life. — James Suter and Matthias 
Glirius are banished from the Palatinate. — Sigis- 
mund Augustus dies at Knysin in the month of 
June. — Simon Budnaeus publishes a translation of 
the Bible into the Polish language. 

1573. Henry of Valois is elected King of Poland in the 

month of May. — A General Synod of the three 
Trinitarian Protestant Churches in Poland is held 
at Cracow, the chief object of which is to impress 
the newly-elected Monarch with a sense of the 
strength and importance of the Protestant interest 


A D. 

in that kingdom. — ^James Palseologus and Matthias 
Glirius are appointed joint Rectors of the School 
at Clausenburg. 

The Privy Council of Queen Elizabeth, in the month 
of April, warns the members of the Strangers* 
Church not to receive into their commimion any 
but foreigners, on pain of banishment. 
1574>. A sunmiary of the religious doctrines of the Anti- 
trinitarians, supposed to have been drawn up by 
George Schomann, is published, under the title, 
" Catechesis et Confessio Fidei Ccetus per Polo- 
niam congregati in Nomine Jesu Christi, Domini 
nostri crucifixi et resuscitati, &c." — Simon Bud- 
nsdua publishes the New Testament with Anno- 
tations in the Polish language. — Faustus Socinus 
leaves Italy, and settles at Basle, where he devotes 
himself entirely to the study of Theology. — Henry 
of Valois abdicates the crown of Poland in the 
month of June. 

Rumours of new sects, as Judaism, Arianism, and 
the like, are rife in England, and reach the ears of 

1575. Dr. Raphael Ritter is very zealous in the dissemi- 

nation of Antitrinitarianism in Ducal Prussia. — 
Martin Czechovicius writes against Psedobaptism. 
— Stephen Bathory is elected King of Poland in 
the month of December. 
The writ "De Heeretico comburendo," which has 
slumbered in England for seventeen years, is re- 
vived, and put in force against the Baptists. — John 
Fox, the Martyrologist, addresses his celebrated 
letter to Queen Elizabeth, to dissuade her from 
burning two Dutch Baptists for heresy. 

1576. Simon Budnaeus publishes a Confession of the prin- 

cipal Articles of the Christian Faith. 

1577. Faustus Socinus, after a residence of three years at 

Basle (vide A.D. 1574), begins to throw off all 


A. D. 

reserve and disguise, about his religious opinions. 
— ^Elective Tribunals, or Supreme Courts of Jus- 
tice are established in Poland and Lithuania, by 
which the Royal Court is superseded, and the 
Church is deprived of its separate jurisdiction. — 
Martin Czechovicius publishes a translation of the 
New Testament into the Polish language. — An- 
drew, Stanislaiis, and Christopher Lubieniecius leave 
the Polish Court, and devote themselves to the 
ministry among the Antitrinitarians. — Some of 
the more zealous of the Polish Baptists, among 
whom is George Schomann, hold a conference vnth 
Faustus Socinus on the subject of Baptism. 
Francis Pucci leaves England, and goes into Switzer- 
land, where he holds a disputation with Faustus 
Socinus, " On the State of Man before the Fall." 

1578. Faustus Socinus goes into Transylvania, at the invi- 

tation of George Blandrata, to convince Francis 
Davidis of his presumed error, in refusing to offer 
divine worship to Jesus Christ. — The Roman 
Catholic Clergy of Poland, at the Synod of Petri- 
cow, declare their unqualified submission to the 
decrees of the Council of Trent. — The University 
of Cracow is thrown open to students of all reli- 
gious persuasions, Sept. 2nd. 

1579. Francis Davidis dies (according to some accounts, 

June 6th; according to others, Nov. 15th); and is 
succeeded, as Superintendent of the Unitarian 
Churches in Transylvania, by Demetrius Hunyadi. 
— A Confession of Faith is drawn up by the new 
Superintendent, and is read and approved at a 
General Synod, convened at Clausenburg, July 1st. 
— Faustus Socinus leaves Transylvania for Poland, 
and settles at Cracow in the month of April. — At 
the request of the Polish Brethren, he draws up a 
reply to Andrew Volanus, on the nature and ex- 
piation of Christ, which is the first work composed 



by him after his settlement in Poland. — Dudithius 
commences a correspondence with F. Socinus. 
Matthew Hamont is burnt as a heretic at Norwich 
in the month of May. 

1580. Faustus Socinus, with a large body of Antitrinita- 
rians, goes to Levartow, for the purpose of holding 
a disputation with some Ministers of the Reformed 
Church ; but the latter decline the challenge, on 
the ground that they can hold no intercourse with 
followers of Ebion, Arius, or Paul of Samosata. — 
He holds a friendly conversation with some of the 
Polish Brethren, on the subject of Baptism, in 
which he contends, that this rite was meant for 
proselytes only. 

1582. James Palaeologus is imprisoned by order of the 
Emperor Rudolph, and afterwards sent to Rome. — 
The doctrine of Simon Budnaeus respecting the 
worship of Christ, which is directly opposed to that 
of Faustus Socinus, is condemned by the Synod of 
Lublin. — George Cratzer publishes a Catechism at 
Clausenburg, the sentiments of which are repre- 
sented by Wolfgang Franzius as Photinian« 

I58S. Faustus Socinus leaves Cracow, after a residence of 
about four years, and retires to the seat of Christo- 
pher Morstinius at Paulikovice. — Christian Franck- 
en professes himself an Antitrinitarian. — ^F. Soci- 
nus publishes his reply to the Jesuits of Posnania. — 
Theodosius Schimberg publishes a collection of 
treatises by Matthias Glirius, Adam Neuser, and 
John Sommer. 
Heresy is very prevalent among the clergy in the 
diocese of Norwich. — John Lewes is burnt at Nor- 
wich, Sept. 18th, fordenying the godhead of Christ. 

1584. Faustus Socinus holds a disputation with Christian 
Francken, March 14th, on the honour due to 
Christ.— At the Synod of Chmielnik he power- 
fully contributes to the rejection of Millennarian 
VOL. I. D 



opinions. — Erasmus Johannis flies from Antwerp^ 
and settles at Clausenburg. — F. Socinus holds a 
disputation with him on the preexistence of Christ. 
— Simon Budnseus is publicly excommunicated at 
the Synod of Wengrow, after a discussion on the 
worship of Christ, which he opposes, and F. Soci- 
nus defends. 

1585. James Palaeologus is burnt alive at Rome, in the 

month of March, as an Antitrinitarian. — Christian 
Francken is expelled, by royal authority, firom the 
Kingdom of Poland, for publishing certain books 
against the Trinity. — Alexius Rodecki, the printer 
of these books, is imprisoned by an order from the 
King, obtained through the influence of the Je- 
suits, but soon liberated at the intercession of 
Stanislaiis Taszycki. — Piekarski is removed from 
the communion of the Socinian Church, for defend- 
ing the opinions of the so-called Judaizers. — Chris- 
topher Ostorod makes a public profession of Uni- 
tarianism, and is rebaptized, in the month of Sep- 
tember. — John Volkelius is admitted a full mem- 
ber of the Socinian Church, by rebaptization^ at 
the Synod of Chmielnik. 

1586. Stephen Bathory, King of Poland, dies at Grodno, 

Dec. 12th. 

1587. Sigismund III. is elected King of Poland in the 

month of August. — Faustus Socinus leaves Pauli- 
kovice, and returns to Cracow. 

1588. F. Socinus revises his reply to Andrew Volanus, and 

publishes it with a Dedication to John Kiszka. — 
He completely establishes his influence at the 
Synod of Brest^ and succeeds in removing all re- 
maining difierences among the Polish Brethren. — 
The care of the Church of Luclavice is entrusted 
to Peter Statorius, the younger. — Cornelius Daems 
narrowly escapes apprehension at Gouda, as a 
favourer of Socinus and his doctrines. 


A. D. 

Francis Ket^ M. A., a clergyman of the diocese of 
Norwich, is burnt for " divers detestable opinions 
against Christ our Saviour." 

1590. Andrew Fricius Modrevius publishes his ''Sylvae" 

at Racowy in the month of July. 

1591. George Schomann, the firiend and colleague of Gre- 

gory Pauliy dies at Chmielnik. — Gregory Pauli 
dies a very old man at Racow. — Andrew Voidovius 
is confirmed in Socinian principles by Valentine 
SmalciuSj at Strasburg. — Peter Statorius, Jun., 
holds a disputation with Stanislaiis Famoviusi at 
LuclavicCi on the preexistence of Christ. 

1592. Demetrius Hunyadi^ second Superintendent of the 

Unitarian Churches in Transylvaniai dies, and is 
succeeded by George Enyedi. — Socinus becomes 
an inmate in the house of Dr. Buccella at Bisku- 
pie, near Cracow. — Christopher Ostorod holds a 
disputation with Jerome Powodowski, Canon of 
Posnania, on the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, and 
Baptism. — Peter Statorius, Jun., holds a disputa- 
tion with Adrian Radziminski, and other Jesuits, 
at Lublin. — Albert Calissius and others hold a dis- 
putation with Adrian Radziminski at Levartow. — 
Matthew Radecius makes a public profession of 
Unitarianism by baptism, and, as a consequence, is 
deprived of the office of Secretary to the city of 
Dantzic, in the month of August. — Valentine 
Smalcius is admitted, by baptism, a member of the 
Socinian Church, Dec. ^th. 

1593. Socinus publishes a reply, in the Polish language, 

to the Jesuit Wujek, on the divinity of the Son of 
God, and the Holy Spirit. — Peter Statorius, Jun.^ 
holds another disputation with Stanislaiis Famo- 
vius, and Stanislaiis Wisnovius on the preexistence 
of Christ. — The Synod of Lublin decides, with 
only one dissentient voice, June 4th, that the sole 
object of the Lord's Supper is the commemoration 



A. D. 

and preaching of the death of Christ. — ^Valentine 
Smalcius commences a correspondence with Soci- 
nus. — Peter Statorius^ Jun., holds a conference 
with John Petricius on the preexistence of Christ, 
Dec. l^th. 

1594. John Licinius holds a disputation, concerning the 

Divinity of Christ, with Martin Smiglecius, the 
Jesuit, at Novogrodek, January ^5th. — Socinus, 
at the request of Elias Arcissevius, publishes his 
celebrated work, " De Jesu Christo Servatore." 

1595. Socinus publishes his reply to Erasmus Johannis; a 

Latin translation of his reply to the Jesuit Wujek ; 
and an account of the controversy between himself 
and Francis Davidis. — Jerome Moscorovius joins 
the Socinians, and acquires great influence among 
them. — George Ludwig Leuchsner enters the Uni- 
versity of Altorf, December 1st. 

1596. The S3mods allow their wealthier members to take 

advantage of all the privileges enjoyed by Polish 
nobles, such as to possess offices and dignities, and 
to bear arms, but only to do so in self-defence. 

1597. Socinus leaves the house of Dr. Buccella, and goes 

into his former lodgings at Cracow. — George 
Enyedi, the third Superintendent of the Unitarian 
Churches in Transylvania, dies Nov. S4th, and is 
succeeded by John Kosa. 

1598. Martin Czechovicius is deprived of the ministerial 

office, March 8th, for creating schisms among the 
Antitrinitarians. — Socinus is driven by violence 
from Cracow, and takes up his abode at Luclavicey 
in the house of Abraham Blonski, just before 
Whitsuntide. — Christopher Ostorod holds a friendly 
conference on the Socinian doctrine with James 
Fabricius, Rector of the Gymnasium at Dantzic. — 
Ostorod and Voidovius undertake a missionary 
journey into Holland and Friesland, July 11th. — 
An intimacy springs up between Ostorod and 


A. D. 

Ernest Sohner at Leyden. — Conrad Vorstius and 
James Arminius begin to study the works of the 
Socinian writers. 

1599. James Sieninius, the proprietor of Racow, is con- 

verted to the Unitarian faith by John Securinus, 
Nov. 13th. 

1600. James Sieninius formally separates himself from the 

Evangelical party, and is admitted a member of 
the Socinian Church. — Valentine Smalcius and 
Christopher Rudnicius undertake a journey into 
Lithuania, June 18th, for the purpose of silencing 
Joseph Domanovius, and other followers of Francis 
Davidis. — Smalcius undertakes another journey 
into Lithuania, in the month of December, for the 
same purpose ; and Domanovius not appearing is 

1601. A conference is held at Racow, at which Socinus, 

Statorius, Moscorovius, the three Lubieniecii, Os- 
torod, Smalcius, Volkelius, and other eminent 
Antitrinitarians are present, March 7th. 

1602. James Sieninius, at the suggestion of Stanislaiis 

Lubieniecius the Elder, erects at Racow a public 
School or College, for the education of Unitarian 
Ministers, and establishes a printing-press in the 
same town. — G. L. Leuchsner is present at the 
Synod of Racow, Oct. 7th — 19th, where he is 
recognized as a brother, and receives the right 
hand of fellowship. — This Synod, which is one of 
unusual importance, owing to the recent liberality 
of James Sieninius, is attended by most of the 
leading Socinian Ministers, Elders and Brethren. 

1603. Christopher Brockayus is appointed first Rector of 

the College at Racow. — Bartholomew Vigilius is 
appointed Curator of the same establishment. — 
Valentine Smalcius visits the Churches in the 
neighbourhood of Dantzic, to counteract the influ- 
ence of some zealots from England. — Simon Pis- 


A. D. 

torius and Daniel Franconius settle in Poland. — 
The Cathedral Church of Clausenburgi which has 
been in the hands of the Unitarians from the time 
of John Sigismundy is taken from them, and given 
to the Jesuits. 
Elizabeth^ Queen of Englandi dies, and is succeeded 
by James I., March 24th. 

1604. Socinus dies at Luclavice in the sixty-fifth year of 

his age. — ^Valentine Smalcius undertakes a mission 
into Lithuania, to settle a dispute which has arisen 
concerning Baptism. — Gregory Ottrepowicki, a 
protege of Matthias Twardochleb, a Polish Unita- 
rian, announces himself as Prince Demetrius, son 
of John Basilius, Duke of Muscovy. 

1605. Boris, Czar of Muscovy, is killed, and Ottrepowicki 

seizes upon the government, and is proclaimed 
Czar, April 13th. — Smalcius, Statorius, Moscoro- 
vius and Volkelius begin to prepare for publication 
a Catechism for the use of the Socinian Churcheg, 
April 25th. — Statorius dies. May 9th. — The first 
edition of '' The Racovian Catechism " is published 
in the Polish language. — ^Valentine Radecius is 
appointed Pastor of the Saxon Unitarian Church 
at Clausenburg, in the month of October. — Mat- 
thias Twardochleb sets out on a visit to Ottrepo- 
wicki at Moscow, November 7th, and is hospitably 
entertained by him. — A resolution is passed by the 
Polish Socinians, condemning defensive war. (Vide 
A.D. 1596.) 

1606. Meetings for theological discussion begin to be held 

at the house of Smalcius, Jan. 7th. — Ottrepowicki 
is slain by Basil Zuski, when celebrating his nup-p 
tials with Anna Maria Georgia, daughter of the 
Palatine of Sandomir, in the month of May. — A 
Polish translation of the New Testament is pre? 
pared by Moscorovius, Licinius and Smalcius, 
from the versions of Budnaeus and CzechQvicius, 


A. n. 

(vide A.D. 1574 and 1577,) and published under 
the auspices of the Socinians at Racow. — George 
Manlius is appointed successor to Christopher 
Brockayusy as Rector of the College at Racow. 

1607. The meetings at the house of Smalcius are suspended 

from Feb. 22nd to Nov. 28th, on account of the 
disturbed state of Poland. — G. L. Leuchsner set- 
tles as an advocate at Nuremberg, and is a secret 
favourer of the Unitarian doctrine. — Michael Git- 
tichius enters as a student in the University of 
Altorf, Dec. 10th. 

1608. Smalcius is sent on a missionary tour into Silesia. — 

He publishes a German translation of *' The Ra- 
covian Catechism/' and dedicates it to the Senate 
of the University of Wittenberg. 

1609. The last of the meetings for theological discussion 

in the house of Smalcius is held Jan. 3rd. — ^Jerome 
Moscorovius publishes a Latin translation of " The 
Racovian Catechism," and dedicates it to James 
the First, King of England. 

1610. Gittichius is expelled from the University of Altorf 

on account of his zeal in the propagation of Uni- 
tarianism. — Samuel Nieciecius succeeds George 
Manlius, as Rector of the College at Racow. — 
Ostorod raises dissensions in the Church of Bus- 
cow, near Dantzic, on the question. Whether the 
precepts of Christ and his Apostles are all alike 
necessary to salvation ? but, on being remonstrated 
with, submits to the opinion of the majority. — 
Conrad Vorstius is appointed successor to Armi- 
nius in the University of Leyden. — He publishes 
an enlarged edition of his celebrated work, " De 

1611. Ostorod dies at Dantzic, April 8th. — ^John Tyscovi, 

cius, of Bielsk, is beheaded, and his body barba-> 
rously mangled, Nov. 1 6th, for refusing to swear 
by the Trinity, or on a crucifix. 



James I. causes Yorstius's treatise^ " De Deo/' to be 
burnt at St. Paul's Cross, and in the Universities 
of Oxford and Cambridge. 

1612. At the Synod of Lublin, the Socinians, in conse- 

quence of the martyrdom of John Tyscovicius^ 
(vide A.D. 1611,) and other outrages, affecting 
the Protestants of Poland generally, try to bring 
about a union with the Evangelical party, for 
mutual protection against the encroachments of 
the Jesuits ; but the negociation is unsuccessful. — 
Moscorovius and Smalcius address a joint letter to 
the Mennonites, April 21st, proposing a union 
between them and the Socinians. — The dissatisfied 
partisans of Ostorod, in the neighbourhood of 
Dantzic, are visited by Smalcius and Moscorovius 
in the month of April, and the unity of the Church 
is re-established. — John Stoinius is ordained at 
the Synod of Racow in the month of May, and 
becomes, like his father, Peter Statorius, Jun., one 
of the most eloquent of the Socinian preachers. — 
The second edition of the German translation of 
"The Racovian Catechism" is published at Ra- 
cow. — Ernest Sohner dies, Sept. 30th, and leaves 
the rising society of Antitrinitarians in the Uni- 
versity of Altorf without a head. — John CrelUus 
leaves Nuremberg, Nov. Ist^ and travels alone, and 
on foot, to Cracow. — He reaches Racow, where 
he takes up his abode, Dec. 13th, and spends the 
remainder of his life. 
Bartholomew Legate is burnt for heresy at Smith- 
field, March 18th. — Edward Wightman is burnt 
for heresy at Lichfield, April 11th. 

1613. The Mennonites having returned an unfavourable 

answer to the letter of Moscorovius and Smalcius, 
(vide A.D. 1612,) the S3mod of Racow comes to 
the resolution, that the attempt to form a union 
with that religious body must be abandoned, as 


" "■ top»o«»bi..^»h. c»mu. i. .ppob«a 00^. 

tor of the press for German and Latin publications ; 
and Professor of Greek in the College of Racow^ 
in the month of May. — Paul Krokier succeeds 
Samuel Nieciecius^ as Rector of the College at 

1614. Smalcius holds three separate discussions with Stan. 

Famoviusy the Arian Minister at Zarsyn. — He 
addresses a letter to Conrad Vorstius, Jan. 26th, 
inviting him to join the Socinians. — Matthias 
RhaWy a native of Clausenburg, goes to the Uni- 
versity of Altorfy Feb. 7th, and is very active in 
making proselytes to Unitarianism among the stu- 
dents. — ^Martin Ruarus visits Racow, and contracts 
an intimacy with the leading Socinians of that 
place. — He causes to be presented to the Univer- 
sity of Strasburg, by the hands of Daniel Taszycki, 
a copy of Faustus Socinus's Commentary on 1 
John. — Samuel Przipcovius and Daniel Taszycki 
enter themselves as students in the University of 
Altorf, March 22nd. 
Moscorovius*s Latin translation of " The Racovian 
Catechism *' is publicly burnt in London, at the 
suggestion of Isaac Casaubon. 

1615. Ruarus returns from Racow to Nuremberg and 

Altorf. — John Crellius publicly preaches his first 
sermon in the Polish language. — John Stoinius 
holds a disputation with a Jesuit at Lublin, Aug. 
9th and 10th. — Theodore Simonis becomes a stu- 
dent in the University of Altorf, Aug. 1 1th, where 
he imbibes An titrinitarian opinions.^ — Bartholomew 
Vigilius is employed in translating the works of 
Socinian writers from Polish into Latin. — An in- 
quiry is made, by the Curators of the University of 
Altorf, into the religious opinions of the students. 

1616. Ulric Herwart superintends the publication of the 

unedited works of Faustus Socinus. — John Mos- 


A. D. 

chovius is employed in disseminatiiig Socinianism 
in Hungary. — John Crellias succeeds Paul Kro- 
kier as Rector of the CoUege at RacoWi which 
office he retains till 1621. — The Magistrates of 
Nuremberg take severe measures for suppressing 
the growth of Unitarianism in the University of 
Altorf. — Ruarus goes to Strasburg in the month 
of Aprili and is examined by Bechthold, Professor 
of TTieology, and Taufrer, Rector of the Univer- 
sity, as to his religious opinions. — Jonas SchUch- 
tingius goes to the University of Altorf, April SOth, 
in die capacity of private tutor to Zbigneus Sieni- 
nius. — 6. L. Leuchsner is given into custody at 
Nuremberg, on a charge of heresy ; and disclaims 
all connexion, past or present, with the Socinians. 
— Ruarus leaves Strasburg about Midsummer. — 
John Stoinius holds a disputation on the Divinity of 
Christ, and the remission of sins obtained through 
him, with John Maria, an Italian Carmelite, in the 
Carmelite Church at Lublin, July Srd. — Peter 
Statorius, (the third of that name,) and John Lunk- 
witz are commissioned, by the Church at Racow, 
to go to Altorf, Sept. 27th, and request that the 
Unitarian students, who have been forcibly de- 
tained, may be set at liberty. 
1617. John Vogel and Joachim Peuschel renounce Unita- 
rianism at Altorf, Jan. 25th. — Smalcius publishes 
a refutation of the arguments employed by these 
two young men in their retractations. — A confer- 
ence is held at Gorlice, on the confines of Hungaiy, 
May 22ndf between the Unitarians and Evange- 
licals, at which Smalcius and Peter Lombardus 
act as Collocutors. — Smalcius, Moscorovius, John 
Stoinius, Paul and John Lubieniecius, Suchodolius, 
and other leading Socinians make another ineffec- 
tual attempt to bring about a union with the 
]!^y angelical party, at Belzyce. — Smalcius, John 


A. D. 

Lubieniecius, and John Stoiniusy visit the Churches 
in Volhyniay in the month of October, on which 
occasion Christopher Sieniuta is admitted a mem- 
ber of the Socinian Church. 

1618. Ruarus is appointed tutor to the sons of Caspar 

Sack, and travels with them through Germany, 
HoUand, England and France. — John Crellius and 
Nicholas Diimler are ordained to the ministry 
among the Polish Socinians. — Michael CKttichius 
and John Licinius are prohibited, by royal autho- 
rity, from exercising their ministerial functions at 
Novogrodek. — At a Diet, held in the reign of 
Gabriel Bethlen, it is decreed, that those of the 
Transylvanian Unitarians, who refuse to worship 
Jesus Christ, shall be deprived of their privileges. 
— The largest Synod ever known among the Po- 
lish Brethren is held at Racow, May 20th, on 
which occasion four hundred and fifty-nine mem- 
bers of the Church sit down to the Lord's Supper. 
— In accordance with a resolution, passed at the 
Synod of Racow, Smalcius and Adam Goslavius 
visit the Churches in Volhynia, in the months of 
September and October. — The famous Synod of 
Dort commences its sittings Nov. 13th. 

1619. Many of the Remonstrant clergy in Holland are 

deprived of their livings ; and, among them, not a 
few, who are favourable to the Unitarian doctrine, 
— Conrad Vorstius is deprived of his professorship 
at Leyden, and sent into exile. — The sect of Col? 
legiants takes its rise in Holland. — Launcelot Van 
Brederode, Councillor of the Court of Holland, 
declines carrying out the decisions of the Synod of 
Dort respecting the Remonstrants, July 18th. — 
Daniel Franconius makes a fair copy, for publica- 
tion, of Volkelius's celebrated work, "De Vera 
Religione." — A last attempt is made to form an 
alliance between the Socinians and Evangelicals, 



A. D. 

against Romanist oppression. — James Zaborowski 
publishes his treatise, entitled, *' Fire and Water/' 
to which Smalcius replies. — Smalcius pays a third 
visit to the Churches in Volhynia, in the month of 
September. (Vide A.D. 1618, 1619.)— A second 
edition of " The Racovian Catechism*' in the Polish 
language is published. 
Ruarus is in England, and is strongly solicited to 
take up his residence at Cambridge, with the pro- 
mise of a professorship, but rejects the tempting 

16i^. The Court of Holland, with the sanction of the 
States-General, deprives Launcelot Van Brederode 
of his office of Councillor, March 10th, for opposing 
the severe measures against the Remonstrants. — 
Voidovius sketches the outline of his "Triadoma- 
chia." — John Geisteranus is invited to settle in 
Poland, but declines. — John Stoinius holds a dis- 
putation with John Maria, the Italian Carmelite, 
in the Carmelite Church at Lublin. — The Famo- 
vian, or Arian party, after a long secession, again 
joins the main body of the Polish Brethren. 

1621. Ruarus is appointed successor to John Crellius, as 
Rector of die College of Racow, in the month of 
May. — Augustus a Peyn joins the Unitarians, who 
are engaged on a missionary tour in Holland, and 
covertly assists in the propagation of their opinions. 

162S. Conrad Vorstius dies, Sept. 29th, O.S., leaving a 
Confession of his Faith in the supremacy of God 
the Father. — John Geisteranus dies, Oct. 14th. — 
Smalcius dies at Racow, Dec. 8th. 

1623. Ruarus resigns the office of Rector of the College at 
Racow. — He forms an intimacy with Grotius, whom 
he is said to have converted to the Unitarian faith. 

1625. James I., King of England, dies, March 27th, and is 

succeeded by Charles I. 

1626. Joachim Stegmaun, Senior, holds a conference at 


A. D. 

Spandau with John Berg, Jerome Braunemann^ 
and Peter Vehr. 

1627. Theodore Raphael Camphuysius, a zealous Dutch 
Antitrinitarian, and one of the most celebrated 
leaders of the sect of Collegiants, dies. — The 
Church of the Socinians, and those of the Evange- 
licals, or Reformed, at Lublin, are destroyed in a 
riot by the Roman Catholic rabble. 

16^. Joachim Rupnovius commences his account of the 
Sjmodical Acts of the Unitarians of Poland and 
Transylvania, and brings it down to the year 1641. 

1629. Theodore Simonis, having gone over to the Church 

of Rome, is vanquished in argument, at a public 
disputation, by Paul Miiller at Halberstadt, Jan. 
16th. — Jerome Moscorovius dies, July 19th, 

1630. Volkelius's treatise, " De Vera Religione," after re- 

peated delays, is at length published at Racow. — 
A resolution is passed by the Synod of Racow, 
enjoining Twardochleb to commit to writing an 
accoimt of his journey into Muscovy, to visit the 
Czar Demetrius. (Vide A.D. 1605.) — John Crel- 
lius and Joachim Stegmann, assisted by Martin 
Ruarus, publish a German translation of the New 
Testament. — Adam Franck succeeds Joachim Steg- 
mann, as Rector of the College at Racow. — Theo- 
dore Simonis publicly renounces Catholicism, and 
returns to the Protestant faith. 

1631. Valentine Radecius dies. — Joachim Stegmann, Sen., 

succeeds Valentine Radecius, as Minister of the 
Saxon Church at Clausenburg. — John Crellius 
publishes his two Books, " De Uno Deo Patre." — 
Ruarus takes up his residence at Dantzic. 
163S. Nicholas Antoine, an apostate from Christianity to 
Judaism, is strangled and burnt at Geneva, April 
20th. — Sigismund III., King of Poland, dies April 
6th ; and Vladislav IV. is elected to succeed him, 
in the month of November following. 


A. D. 

1633. John Crellius dies, June 11th. — Martin Ruarus 

leaves Dantzic for a time^ and goes to Racow, to 
carry out the labours which have been commenced 
by John Crellius. — Joachim St^mann^ Sen.^ pub- 
lishes his ** Brevis Disquisitio/' in which he treats 
upon the best mode which the Reformed can adopt 
in their controversies with the Church of Rome. — 
He dies soon after the publication of this work, 
and is succeededi as Minister of the Saxon Church 
at Clausenburgy by Adam Franck. — ^Peter Teich- 
mann holds the office of Rector of the College at 
Racow for a short time, as successor to Adam 
Franck. — George Nigrinus accepts the same office, 
which he holds for one year. 

1634. Laurence Stegmann succeeds George Nigrinus, as 

Rector of the College at Racow, and continues to 
hold this office, till the Socinians are driven from 
that town. — ^Eustace Gizelius is appointed Rector 
of the School at Kissielin. 

1635. The revision of the Polish version of the New 

Testament is entrusted to Eustace Gizelius, John 
Stoinius and Jonas Schlichtingius. 

1636. Samuel Przipcovius publishes his ''life of Faustus 


1637. Christopher Lubieniecius, Jun., holds a disputation 

at Lublin with Caspar Druzbicki, the Jesuit. — 
Valentine Baumgartus is converted to the Unita- 
rian faith by Martin Ruarus. 

1638. Jonas Schlichtingius is sent, by the Synod of Racow, 

into Transylvania, to put a stop to a dispute, which 
has arisen on the office and dignity of Christ, and 
which brings the Unitarians of that country into 
danger of losing their privileges ; and he is directed 
to instil gentler counsels into the minds of those, 
who seem inclined to treat the followers of Fran- 
cis Davidis with undue severity. — Two students in 
the College of Racow, named Falibowski and Babi- 


A. D. 

nedd, beat down a wooden crucifix in the suburbs 
of Racow, by throwing stones at it ; and this act 
of youthful indiscretion leads to the expulsion of 
the Socinians from that town. — The Diet of War- 
saw, at the instigation of the Roman Catholics, 
headed by Zadzik, Bishop of Cracow, enact a law. 
May 1st, by which it is resolved, that the College 
at Racow shall be demolished, its Professors ban- 
ished with ignominy, the printing establishment of 
the Socinians destroyed, and their Churches closed. 
— Seven Curators and Directors of the Socinian 
body are appointed at the Synod of Kissielin. — 
The School at Kissielin is enlarged, and its curri- 
culum extended, in consequence of the destruction 
of the College at Racow. — John Stoinius is pro- 
scribed, and compelled to seek refuge in a foreign 

1639. Christopher Morstinius, with eleven other Polish 

Nobles and Magnates, intercedes with the Senate of 
Dantzic, March 1st, in behalf of Martin Ruarus, 
who has been threatened with banishment. — James 
Sieninius, the proprietor of Racow, dies; and 
Peter Morstinius delivers his funeral oration. — 
Krzyskievicius aids in the arrangement, and tran- 
scription of the " Triadomachia." 

1640. Theodore Simonis, having professed himself an Anti- 

trinitarian, succeeds Peter Stegmann, as Rector of 
the School at Kissielin. — ^Valentine Baumgartus is 
compelled, through fear, to make a recantation of 
his Unitarian opinions at Konigsberg, Aug. 25th, 
which Zeltner says is the only instance of the kind, 
through the whole of the seventeenth century, 
except those of John Vogel and Joachim Peuschel. 
(Vide A.D. 1617.) — Baumgartus makes his escape 
from Konigsberg in the month of October, and 
goes into Poland. 
John Webberley, who has the reputation of being a 


A. D. 

thorough Socinian^ and a translator into English 
of Socinian books, takes bis degree of B.D. at 
Oxford, Jan. 30th. — Seventeen new "Constitu- 
tions and Canons" are framed by a Church of 
England Synod, appointed by royal commission, 
the fourth of which is expressly directed against 
Sodnianism, June 30th. — The House of Commons 
passes a resolution, condemnatory of the new '' Con- 
stitutions and Canons,*' Dec. 15th. — A tract is 
publicly sold in the streets of London, against bow- 
ing at the name of Jesus. 

164>l. Valentine Baumgartus and Ludwig Hohleisen are 
appointed Rectors of the School at Elissielin. 

164S. Theodore Simonis publishes his Greek translation 
of Comenius's "Janua Linguarum." — Jeremiah 
Felbinger secretly joins the Unitarians. — Peter 
Morscovius composes his " Politia Ecclesiastica," 
or Agenda of the Polish Brethren. 

1643. Koniekpolski, Grand General of Poland, and a 

Roman Catholic, procures for Martin Ruarus the 
diploma of a Royal Secretary. — Florian Crusius is 
banished from die city of Dantzic, as a zealous 
propagator of Antitrinitarianism, but is allowed a 
year to settle his affairs, and dispose of his house. — 
Andrew Voidovius completes the first fair copy of 
his " Triadomachia." 
The Assembly of Divines meets at Westminster, 
July 1st. — Francis Cheyuell publishes his "Rise, 
Growth and Danger of Socinianisme.** 

1644. The "Triadomachia" receives valuable additions 

from the pen of Peter Morscovius, who is requested 
to transfer it to the hands of John L. Wolzogenius, 
that it may be sent to Jonas Schlichtingius. — The 
Schools and Churches of Kassielin and Beresteczko, 
in Volh3mia, are abolished by a decree of the Tri- 
bunal, and the pupils and congregations dispersed. 
John Biddle is accused of heresy before the Magis- 



trates of Gloucester^ May 2nd, and is required to 
deliver in a written Confession of Faith. — Unita- 
rian Baptists are numerous at Bath and Bristol. — 
F. Cheynell publishes his " Chillingworthi Novis- 

164<5. Grittichius dies, after a life spent in the promotion 
of the Antitrinitarian cause. — The " Colloquium 
Charitativum," a project for uniting the different 
religious communities in Poland, commences at 
Thorn, Aug. 29th. 
The Rev. William Erbury, in a sermon at Bury St. 
Edmund's, advocates the doctrine of Universal Re- 
demption, and rejects that of Original Sin. — The 
Parliamentary Commissioners at Gloucester com- 
mit John Biddle to prison, Dec. 2nd. 

1646. Martin Ruarus is ordained, by the imposition of 
hands, at Daszow. — Calixtus tries to convert him 
to Lutheranism^ but without success. — Gratian 
Kuroscius composes a treatise on Ecclesiastical 
rhe House of Commons, January 28th, orders Paul 
Best to be kept a close prisoner, and an ordinance 
to be brought in for punishing him with death, on 
account of his having denied the Trinity, and the 
Deity of Christ and the Holy Ghost. — The Com- 
mittee of plundered Ministers is directed to draw 
up an ordinance for the punishment of Paul Best, 
Feb. 16th. — The Commons take his case into con- 
sideration, with a view to preferring a definite 
charge against him, and certain Divines are ap- 
pointed to confer with him, March 28th. — He is 
brought to the bar of the House, a charge is pre- 
ferred against him, and a day is set apart for tak- 
ing his case into consideration, April 3rd. — Arch- 
bishop Usher, passing through Gloucester, on his 
way to London, in the month of June, holds a dis- 
cussion with John Biddle about his religious opi- 

VOL. I. E 


A. D. 

nions. — Episcopacy is abolished in England, Oct. 
9th9 and an attempt is made to introduce the 
Presbyterian form of Church Government. — The 
revenues arising from the episcopal sees in England 
are alienated, to pay the public debt, Nov. 16th. — 
The Rev. Thomas Edwards publishes the first part 
of his " Gangraena." 

164*7. Jonas Schlichtingius having published "A Confession 
of Faith/' as held by the Unitarians in Poland, is 
banished by the Diet of Warsaw, and his book is 
publicly burnt. — J. L. Wolzogenius undertakes a 
journey into foreign countries, for the purpose of 
disseminating Unitarianism. 
The Rev. Thomas Lushington publishes a " Com- 
mentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews," taken 
principally from that of Crellius and Schlichtin- 
gius. — John Biddle addresses a letter to Sir H. 
Vane, April 1st, requesting him to bring his case 
before the House of Commons. — He publishes his 
" Twelve Arguments touching the Holy Spirit," 
which is ordered by the House of Commons, April 
8th, to be called in, and publicly burnt. — A par- 
liamentary order is made, July 24th, to bum a 
pamphlet of Paul Best's, and to punish the printer. 
— The Presbyterian Ministers of London meet at 
Sion College, Dec. 14th, and protest against the 
errors, heresies and blasphemies of the times, and 
the toleration of them. — A visitation of the Uni- 
versity of Oxford is appointed, in which John 
Webberley suffers much for his loyalty and heresy. 

1648. Valentine Baumgartus is appointed Rector of the 
Unitarian School at Clausenburg. — John Jarai is 
the ninth Superintendent of the Unitarian Churches 
in Transylvania. — Vladislav IV., King of Poland, 
dies May 20th, and John Cassimir is elected his 
successor, Nov. 20th. — A proposition is made in 
the Polish Diet, but does not pass, that the Uni- 


A. D. 

tarians shall be deprived of the rights guaranteed 
to them, in common with other dissenters from 
the Roman Catholic Church. — George Niemiricius 
not being allowed to sign the Acts of the Polish 
Diet, at the election of John Cassimir, on the 
ground of his being an Antitrinitarian, joins the 
Greek Church, and invites others to follow his 
example. — John Arcissevius, and Christopher Crel- 
lius (Spinovius) are employed as missionaries for the 
dissemination of Unitarianism in foreign countries. 

The first four books of Acontius*s '' Satanse Strata- 
gemata*' are translated into English, and published 
by John Goodwin, the Arminian Independent. — 
The Assembly of Divines appoints a committee to 
examine the contents of this work, and report con- 
cerning them. — John Webberley is committed to 
prison, April 17th. — An Ordmance, commonly 
called '' the Draconic Ordinance," is issued. May 
2nd, by the Lords and Commons of England, for the 
pimishment of blasphemy and heresy. — The Rev. 
N. Estwick publishes a reply to Biddle*s " Twelve 
Arguments." — Another reply to the same tract is 
published by the Rev. William Russell. — Biddle 
publishes ** K Confession of Faith touching the 
Holy Trinity according to Scripture," and " The 
Testimonies of Irenaeus, &c. concerning that One 
God, and the Persons of the Holy Trinity." — 
Colonel John Fry is sent to the House of Com- 
mons by the Independents. 
1640. At the Assembly of Raszcow an abridgement of 
Grratian Kuroscius's work on the restoration of 
Church Discipline is ordered to be revised for 
publication. (Vide A.D. 1646.) 

Charles I. is beheaded, Jan. 29th. — The Assembly 
of Divines at Westminster discontinues its sittings, 
Feb. 22nd.— Col. John Fry publishes " The Ac- 
cuser shamed," in reply to Col. John Downes. 



A. D. 

1650. Samuel Przipcovius, Gratian Stoinius, Martin Ru- 

arus, and John Arcissevius, Sen., are commissioned, 
by the Assembly of Czarcow, to revise Peter 
Morscovius's " Politia Ecclesiastica." 
Francis Chejmell publishes his " Divine Trin-Unity." 
— The Rev. T. Lushington publishes an English 
translation of John Crellius's Commentary on the 
Epistle to the Galatians. — Col. John Fry publishes 
"The Clergy in their Colours."— The Rev. Sa- 
muel Eaton publishes his " Mystery of God Incar- 
nate," in reply to John Knowles. 

1651. Jonas Schlichtingius appears in public at Czarcow, 

and publishes a second edition of his " Confession 
of Faith." (Vide A. D. 1647.)— A new edition of 
Jerome Moscorovius*s Latin translation of " The 
Racovian Catechism" is printed in London.— 
Daniel Zwicker embraces Unitarianism. 
Certain passages in Col. John Fry's writings are pro- 
nounced " erroneous, profane, and highly scanda- 
lous," by the House of Commons ; and he is de- 
prived of his seat in Parliament in consequence. — 
F. Cheynell publishes " A Discussion of Mr. Fry's 
Tenents lately condemned in Parliament." — The 
Rev. Samuel Eaton publishes his "Vindication" 
against the attack of John Knowles. 

1652. Cloppenburg publishes a reply in Latin to Biddle's 

"Twelve Arguments." — Stanislaiis Lubieniecius, 
Jun., makes additions to the " Triadomachia," or 
" Sylloge" of Voidovius. — An English translation 
of the Racovian Catechism is published at Am- 
Biddle, after a long imprisonment, is restored to 
liberty by an Act of Oblivion, Feb. 10th.— The 
new edition of Moscorovius's Latin translation of 
"The Racovian Catechism" is ordered by the 
House of Commons to be burnt, April 2nd. 

1653. Jeremiah Felbinger publishes a translation of Schlich- 


A D. 

tingiu8*s " Confession of Faith ** from Latin into 
Biddle publishes English translations of Joachim 
Stegmann*s " Brevis Disqnisitio/' Przipcovius*s 
'^Yita Fausti Socini, Senensis/* and the same 
writer's ^* Dissertatio de Pace et Concordia Eccle- 
siastica.** — Cromwell is made Protector, Dec. 16th, 
and issues his '' Instrument of Government." 
1654. At the Assembly of Czarcow, Ruarus is instructed 
to make inquiries after Voidovius's " Triadoma- 
chia," and get it printed.— John Stoinius dies at 
Czarcow. — Jeremiah Felbinger writes to John 
Biddle, Aug. ^4th (O. S.), to congratulate him on 
his accession to the Unitarian cause. — John Crel- 
lius, Jun., becomes the assistant of Martin Ruarus 
at Dantzic* 
A vote is passed by the House of Commons, declar- 
ing that all shall be tolerated, who profess the 
fundamentals of Christianity. — A committee is 
appointed to determine, by the aid of certain 
Divines, what constitute " the fundamentals of 
Christianity.'* — Dr. Nicholas Gibbon makes a 
proposal to the Rev. R. Baxter for uniting all 
Christians in one body. — John Biddle publishes 
his "Twofold Catechism." — The Rev. Matthew 
Pool publishes " The Blasphemer slain," in reply 
to Biddle. — A committee of the House of Com- 
mons is appointed, Nov. 6th, to confer with the 
Protector, for the purpose of defining what is 
meant by the words " liberty of conscience." — A 
resolution is passed by the House of Commons, 
Dec. 11th, that to Bills touching "liberty of con- 
science" the Protector shall have a negative, but 
not to Bills " for the suppression of heresies." — 
Another resolution is passed, Dec. l^th, declaring 
Mr. Biddle's " Twofold Catechism " heretical and 
blasphemous; and ordering, that all copies of it 


A. D. 

which can be discovered shall be burnt in the New 
Palace Yard, Westminster, and at the Old Ex- 
change. — Mr. Biddle is brought to the bar of the 
House of Commons, Dec. 13th, and on avowing 
himself the author of the '' Twofold Catechism," 
is conunitted to the Crate-House. 
1655. At the Assembly of Czarcow, Martin Ruarus and 
John Crellius, Jun., are deputed to make inquiries 
respecting the " Triadomachia** among the descend- 
ants of Conrad Vorstius. — The Swedish army in- 
vades Poland, and the adjacent provinces. — ^Eustace 
Gizelius translates Schlichtingius's ''Confession 
of Faith** into the Russian language. — John Preus- 
sius is stationed at Meseritz, and becomes actively 
zealous in sowing the seeds of Unitarianism in Si- 
lesia, Lusatia, and the Marquisate of Brandenburg. 
A Bill is ordered to be brought into the House of 
Commons for punishing John Biddle, Jan. 16th. — 
Cromwell dissolves the Parliament, Jan. 22nd, and 
reproaches it for its persecuting spirit. — Biddle, 
and his printer and publisher, are liberated on bail, 
Feb. 10th. — They surrender to take their trial. 
May 2nd. — After several objections and delays, 
they are restored to liberty ; and Biddle establishes 
a religious society on congregational principles. — 
He holds a public disputation with the Rev. John 
Griffin, a Baptist Minister, which brings him into 
fresh trouble. — He is apprehended by warrant from 
the Lord Mayor of London, July 5th, and committed 
first to the Poultry-Compter, and afterwards to 
Newgate, on a charge of blasphemy, preferred 
against him by the Rev. John Griffin. — Cromwell 
sends him to the Scilly Islands, Oct. 5th. — Dr. 
John Owen publishes his " Vindiciae Evangelicae,** 
which professes to contain a refutation of Biddle*s 
** Twofold Catechism,*' and " The Racovian Cate- 
chism." — Gilbert Clerke resigns his fellowship at 


A. D. 

Cambridge, and, from conscientious motives, de- 
clines taking his degree of Bachelor of Divinity. 

1656. Stanislaus Lubieniecius, Jonas Schlichtingius, An- 

drew Wissowatius, and other Socinian leaders, 
place themselves under the protection of the Swedes 
at Cracow, April Gth. — Schlichtingius begins the 
composition of his Commentaries, May 18th. — 
Martin Ruarus, in conjunction with John Stoinius, 
and Joachim Stegmann, superintends the publica- 
tion of the posthumous works of John Crellius, 
The Rev. N. Estwick publishes a reply to Mr. Bid- 
die's " Confession of Faith touching the Holy 
Trinity." — The Rev. N. Chewney publishes his 
** Anti-Socinianism." — Cromwell, on opening his 
new Parliament, Sept. 17th, plainly tells the mem- 
bers, that he will not allow one sect to tyrannize 
over another. 

1657. The house of Andrew Wissowatius, Jun., is attacked 

by the rabble, and his library destroyed. — The 
Swedes surrender Cracow to the Poles, and Stan. 
Lubieniecius, Jonas Schlichtingius and And. Wis- 
sowatius leave that city, under the protection of a 
Swedish guard, Aug. 30th. — The Polish Unitarians 
are charged with disloyalty towards their country. 
— Martin Ruarus dies, and is buried at Strassin, 
near Dantzic. 
The Rev. Edward Bagshawe publishes his " Disser- 
tationes Duae Anti-Socinianae." 

1658. The Jesuit Karwat instigates the Polish Diet to 

expatriate the Polish Socinians ; a decree of ban- 
ishment is issued ; and three years are allowed them 
for settling their affairs. — Joachim Pistorius and 
others profess themselves Catholics, in order to 
escape the miseries of exile. — Daniel Z wicker 
publishes his "Irenicum Irenicorum" at Amster- 


A, D. 

John Biddle is brought up to London, in the spring, 
by a writ of *^ Habeas Corpus/' after a banishment 
of nearly three years. — Dr. Owen, Mr. Nye and 
others draw up " the Savoy Confession." — Crom- 
well dies, Sept. 3rd, and is succeeded by his son 

1659. Jonas Schlichtingius and Stan. Lubieniecius write 

a joint memorial at Stettin, April 20th, in behalf 
of the Polish Brethren. — The time for preparation 
allowed by the Diet is reduced from three to two 
years, and the Unitarians are ordered to leave Po- 
land on the 10th of July, 1660. 
A sub-committee of religion is appointed by the 
House of Commons, Feb. 7th, to inquire how Mr. 
Biddle came to be released. — Richard Cromwell 
is deposed May 6th. 

1660. Jeremiah Felbinger publishes a German version of 

the New Testament, with various readings and 
parallel passages, Feb. 3rd, from the Greek text 
of Curcellaeus. — A conference is held between the 
Roman Catholics and Unitarians at Roznow, March 
10th — 16th, at which Andrew Wissowatius takes 
the lead on the part of the Unitarians. — A decree 
is issued in the month of May, threatening with 
the utmost rigour of the law all Unitarians, who 
remain any longer in the Kingdom of Poland, or 
Grand Duchy of Lithuania. — Severin Morstinius 
undertakes the charge of those Unitarians, who lie 
concealed in Poland, after the decree of banish- 
ment. — Jonas Schlichtingius completes his Com- 
mentaries on the New Testament, Sept. 13th. — 
Peace is concluded between the Swedes and Poles 
at Oliva. 
Charles II. begins to reign May ^th. 

1661. Andrew Wissowatius returns to Poland at consider- 

able hazard, to assist his persecuted brethren, who 
have not the means of leaving their country. — 



Stan. Lubienieciusy Jun., holds a conference with 
Jerome Muknann the Jesuit, at Copenhagen, Feb. 
12th. — Jonas Schlichtingius addresses his cele- 
brated letter from Kreutzberg to the Unitarian 
exiles, June 17th. — John L. Wolzogenius dies at 
Breslau, Sept. 16th. — Schlichtingius dies in exile 
at Zullichau, Nov. 1st, at the age of sixty-nine. — 
Daniel Zwicker publishes the first part of his 
" Irenico-Mastyx.'* 
The Corporation Act is passed. 

1662. Andrew Lachovius is associated with Severin Mor- 

stinius in the care of those Unitarians, who remain 
in Poland after the exile. (Vide A. D. 1660.)— 
Daniel Lehocius is appointed, by the last Ecclesi- 
astical Assembly of the Unitarians held in Poland, 
to take charge of the Brethren on the borders of 
Silesia. — Joachim Drozovius undertakes the pas- 
toral charge of the congregation at Manheim. — 
Daniel Zwicker publishes the other two parts of 
his " Irenico-Mastyx." (Vide A. D. 1661.) — John 
Preussius and Stan. Lubieniecius are commissioned 
to undertake a journey to Fredericksbourg, to seek 
a union with the Arminians. 
The Act of Uniformity is passed. — Mr. Firmin 
causes collections to be made for the Unitarian 
Polish exiles. — Mr. Biddle is apprehended in his 
own lodgings, while conducting divine worship in 
the presence of a few friends, June 1st. — He is in- 
dicted at common law, and sentenced to pay a fine 
of a hundred pounds, and to be imprisoned till the 
fine is paid. — He dies Sept. 22nd, in the forty- 
seventh year of his age, and is interred in the new 
Church-yard, Petty France, Moorfields. 

1663. Samuel Przipcovius addresses a letter to John Naera- 

nus. Remonstrant Minister of Oudewater, in Hol- 
land, containing an account of the sufferings of the 
Polish Brethren from 1648 to 1658.— John Naera- 


A. D. 

nus is actiyely employed in watching over the 
interests of the Unitarians in Holland. — Francis 
Stano is sent as a delegate into -Transylvania, to 
make arrangements for the settlement of a body of 
Polish exiles in that country. 

1664. John Preussius is imprisoned, and sent to Custrin, 
on account of his zeal, as a Unitarian Missionary, 
in the Marquisate of Brandenburg. — Francis Kuy- 
per publishes, in Folio, the theological works of his 
uncle, Daniel Brenius, which are usually regarded 
as a supernumerary volume of the '* Bibliotheca 
Fratrum Polonorum." — John Cassimir, the bitter 
enemy of the Polish Socinians, resigns the crown, 
and becomes Abbot of St. Germain de Prez. 
Christopher Sandius, Jun., visits Oxford, and de- 
votes himself to the study of such Antitrinita- 
rian works as he is able to procure firom the 
libraries of that University. — The Conventicle Act 
is passed. 

1666. Daniel Jaskievicius has the charge of the foreign 
Socinians, residing in and near Konigsberg, and 
labours zealously to promote the Socinian cause in 
Prussia. — Schlichtingius*s Commentaries are pub- 
lished, in Folio, at Amsterdam. 
The Oxford or Five-mile Act is passed. — Nathaniel 
Stuckey publishes a Latin translation of Biddle's 
" Twofold Catechism." — The plague desolates the 
city of London. — Nath. Stuckey dies. 

1666. The Unitarians publish a Dutch translation of " The 
Racovian Catechism," made from a Latin edition, 
dated "post A.D. 1659," which Sandius supposes 
to have been the year 1665. — S. Przipcovius ad- 
dresses an Apology for the Polish exiles to the 
Elector of Brandenburg, March 20th. — And. Wis- 
sowatius removes from Manheim to Amsterdam, 
where he spends the remainder of his life, princi- 
pally in superintending the publication of the 


A. D. 

** Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum/' and preaching 
to the Unitarians congregated in that city. — Fran- 
cb Kuyper prints the " Bibl. Fratr. Polon.," in 8 
Vols. FoLy at Amsterdam. 
Christopher Crellius visits England. — The great iSre 
breaks out in London, Sept. 2nd. 

1667. Stan. Lubieniecius, Jun.| publishes his " Theatrum 


1668. At the Assembly of Kreutzburg, Stan. Lubienie- 

ciusy Jun.9 is requested to finish the ** Triadoma- 
chia,** or " Syntagma Locorum," begun by Voido- 
vius. — Christopher Sandius, Sen., is deprived of 
his offices, as Councillor of Brandenburg, and Se- 
cretary of the Supreme Government in Prussia, 
on account of his Arianism. — Christopher Crellius 
brings over two of his children to England, for the 
purpose of placing them under the care of Mrs. 
Stuckey, who has undertaken the responsibility of 
their education. 
William Penn publishes his *^ Sandy Foundation 
shaken,*' for which he is committed to the Tower 
of London. 

1669. Christopher Sandius, Jun., publishes the first, or 8vo 

edition of his ** Nucleus Historise Ecclesiasticae." 
The Conventicle Act, having expired, is renewed 
without any limitation as to time. — William Penn 
publishes an Apology, under the title of " Inno- 
cency with her open Face." He is liberated from 
prison, through the intercession of the Duke of 
York, afterwards James II. 

1670. Samuel Przipcovius dies on the borders of Prussia, 

June 19th, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. 

1673. Valentine Baumgartus dies, aged sixty-three. 
The Test Act is passed. 

1674. John Milton dies, Nov. 8th, and leaves in the hands 

of Mr. Skinner, Merchant, his " Treatise on Chris- 
tian Doctrine." 


A. D. 

1675. Stan. Lubieniecius, Jun., dies at Hamburgh, May 

ISthf from the effects of poison. 

1676. Christopher Sandius, Jun., publishes the second, or 

4to edition of his " Nucleus Historise Ecclesiasticse.*' 

1677. Christopher Sandius, Jun., holds a conference with 

Daniel Zwicker on the preexistence of Christ. 
William Penn, and other Friends, hold a conference 
with Galen Abrahamz, the founder of the sect of 

1678. And. Wissowatius dies at Amsterdam, July 29th, 

aged seventy. — Daniel Zwicker dies at Amsterdam, 
Nov. 10th. 

1680. A new edition of " The Racovian Catechism," in 

4to, is printed by Christopher Pezold, at Amster- 
dam. — Daniel Mark Szentivani is appointed Rector 
of the College at Clausenburg, and Superintendent 
of the Unitarian Churches in Transylvania. — 
Christopher Sandius, Jun., dies at Amsterdam, 
Nov. 30th. — Christopher Crellius dies, on his way 
from Poland into Silesia, Dec. ISth. 
The Rev. George Ashwell publishes his work, " De 
Socino et Socinianismo." — Mr. Firmin commences 
his benevolent exertions on behalf of the French 
Protestants, which extend over a period of four- 
teen years. 

1681. Mr. Firmin assists in procuring contributions for the 

Polish Protestants. 

1682. At the Assembly of Andreaswalde, it is determined, 

that the ecclesiastical discipline, in the celebration 
of divine worship by the Antitrinitarians, shall be 
regulated by the rules laid down in John Stoinius's 
work, " On Ecclesiastical and Congregational Re- 
The Rev. John Cooper, Minister of the Unitarian 
congregation at Cheltenham, dies March 18th. — 
John Farrington, Barrister, publishes a Life of 
John Biddle in Latin. 



A. D. 

1684. Benedict Wissowatiusy Jun., publishes Sandius's 

" Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum.'* 

1685. Louis XIY. revokes the Edict of Nantes. — Stan. 

Lubieniecius's ^'Historia Reformationis Polonicse*' 
is published at Amsterdam. 
Charles II. dies, Feb. Gth, and is succeeded by James 
II. — The Parliament presents an address to James 
II.9 urging him to put in force the penal laws 
against Dissenters, May 27th. — Dr. Bull publishes 
his " Defensio Fidei Nicaenae." 
1687. Jeremiah Felbinger settles at Amsterdam, and sup- 
ports himself by keeping a school, and correcting 
the press. 
Mr. Firmin causes to be written " A Brief History 
of the Unitarians, called also Socinians," which is 
published in fc. 8vo. 

1689. Paul Bedo succeeds Daniel Mark Szentivani, as 

Superintendent of the Unitarian Churches in Tran- 
James II. is formally deposed, Jan. SSnd, and 
William III. appointed his successor. — The Tole- 
ration Act is passed in the month of May. — Wil- 
liam III. issues a commission to ten Bishops, and 
twenty Divines, Sept. 13th, authorizing them to 
suggest such alterations in the Liturgy and Canons 
of the Church of England, as may be deemed 
expedient. — Mr. Firmin is appointed one of the 
commissioners for dispensing the contributions 
made on behalf of the Irish Protestants. — A friend- 
ship springs up between Newton and Locke, which 
leads to a correspondence on theological subjects. 
— The Rev. Thomas Emlyn takes up his residence 
at Lowestoft, and forms an acquaintance with the 
Rev. William Manning, with whom he afterwards 
studies the Unitarian controversy. 

1690. Newton places his ** Historical Account of two nota- 

ble Corruptions of Scripture" in the hands of 


A. D. 

Locke, with a view to its publication. — Dr. Arthur 
Bury is deprived of the rectorship of Lincoln Col- 
lege, for publishing his work, called " The Naked 
Gospel."— The " Brief History of the Unitarians" 
is reprinted in 4to. (Vide A. D. 1687.) — ^Another 
tract appears, under the title of " Brief Notes on 
the Creed of St. Athanasius," which, together with 
the preceding, leads to the celebrated Unitarian 
controversy. — Dr. Sherlock publishes his " Vindi- 
cation of the Trinity and Incarnation," in reply to 
the two preceding tracts. — Dr. John Wallis com- 
mences his series of " Letters " in explanation of 
the Trinity. 

1691. Michael Kovendi succeeds Paul Bedo, as Superin- 

tendent of the Unitarian Churches in Transylvania. 
An attempt is made to form a union between the 
Presbyterian and Independent bodies, which is 
abandoned as impracticable, after a trial of three 
years, owing to doctrinal differences. — The princi- 
pal controversial works of Biddle are reprinted 
in 4to. 

1692. Many of the works of S. Przipcovius are collected 

and published in Folio, so as to form a supple- 
mentary volume to the " Bibliotheca Fratrum 
Polonorum.*' — Michael Amasi succeeds Michael 
Kovendi, as Superintendent of the Transylvanian 

1693. A vote is passed by the House of Commons, Jan. 

3rd, declaring W. Freeke*s " Brief but clear Con- 
futation of the Doctrine of the Trinity" an infa- 
mous and scandalous libel, and ordering it to be 
publicly burnt. — Symptoms of declining orthodoxy 
begin to shew themselves among the English Pres- 
byterians and Baptists. — W. Freeke is sentenced 
to pay a fine of £500, to give bail for his good 
behaviour during the next three years, and to make 
a public recantation. — Dr. South becomes a party 



in the Trinitarian controversy, by publishing ''Ani- 
madversions on Dr. Sherlock's Vindication of the 
Trinity and Incarnation/* — ^Archbishop Tillotson 
publishes his *' Four Sermons on the Divinity and 
Incarnation of our blessed Saviour." 

1694. Samuel Crellius visits England. — Gilbert Gierke's 

" Ante-Nicenismus'* is published. — Whiston's ac- 
quaintance with Newton commences. — The Rev. 
John Howe begins to take part in the Unitarian 
controversy. — The Presbyterians and Indepen- 
dentSy after the fiEtilure of the attempt at union, 
begin to act separately with respect to their de- 
nominations. — Archbishop Tillotson dies in the 
month of November. — Locke studies the Scrip- 
tures, with a view to ascertain what they teach 
respecting God and Jesus Christ, and settles down 
a confirmed Antitrinitarian. 

1695. John Smith, author of '' A designed End to the 

Socinian Controversy,** is compelled to recant, Jan. 
2Srd.— Gilbert Gierke's "Brevis Responsio*' to 
Bull's '' Defensio Fidei Nicenee** makes its appear- 
ance. — Locke publishes his ''Reasonableness of 
Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures,'* which 
is violently attacked by Dr. John Edwards. — The 
Rev. Joseph Bingham, M.A., preaches his cele- 
brated tritheistical sermon before the University 
of Oxford, Oct. ^th. — The convocation of the 
University of Oxford publishes a decree, censuring 
Mr. Bingham*s doctrine as &]se, impious and here- 
tical, Nov. 25th. 

1696. William III. issues directions to the Archbishops 

and Bishops, for the preserving of unity in the 
Church, and the support of the Christian faith con- 
cerning the Holy Trinity, Feb. 8rd. — Newton is 
appointed Warden of the Mint. — Thomas Aiken- 
head, a student in the University of Edinburgh, is 
tried, and pronounced guilty of railing against the 


A. D. 

Trinity, and scoffing at the Holy Scriptures, Dec. 

1697. Samuel Crellius makes another visit to England. — 

Thomas Aikenhead is hung at the Gallowlee, be- 
tween Leith and Edinburgh, Jan. 8th. — Hopton 
Haynes, author of the " Scripture Account of the 
Attributes of Ood,'* obtains a situation in the 
Mint. — Bishop Stillingfleet attacks Mr. Locke in 
" A Discourse in Vindication of the Trinity." — 
The Rev. Samuel Bolde becomes the zealous de- 
fender of Mr. Locke from the attacks of Dr. Ed- 
wards. — John Gailhard publishes " The Blasphe- 
mous Socinian Heresy disproved and confuted," in 
which he urges the two Houses of Parliament to 
pass a law for the suppression of heresy and blas- 
phemy. — The Dissenters, in an address to William 
III., entreat him to stop the press against the Uni- 
tarians. — ^Mr. Firmin dies, Dec. SOth. 

1698. The House of Commons petitions the King to give 

orders for the suppression of all pernicious books 
and pamphlets, containing attacks upon the Trinity, 
and fundamental articles of the Christian faith; 
and for the punishment of the authors of such 
books and pamphlets, Feb. 17th. — A Divine of the 
• Church of England publishes ** The Grounds and 
Occasions of the Controversy concerning the Unity 
of God." — The Blasphemy Act is passed. 

1699. Newton is appointed Warden of the Mint, and Whis- 

ton becomes his deputy at Cambridge, with all the 
emoluments arising from the professorship. — Dr. 
AUix publishes **The Judgment of the Ancient 
Jewish Church against the Unitarians." 

1700. The Rev. Matthew Smith, a Presbyterian Divine of 

the North of England, attacks the doctrine of im- 
puted righteousness, which is lamented by many of 
his brethren, as opening the way for other inno- 







The principal cause, to which the introduction 
of Unitarianism into England may be attributed, 
is the sjrmpathy felt for the persecuted Baptists 
of Holland. About the year 1535, soon after the 
death of John Van Geelen, one of their leaders, 
many of them sought refuge in England, where 
they spread their opinions, and gradually increased, 
tiU they formed a considerable party.* The laws 
against heretics had been relaxed in the year 
preceding, by the repeal of 2 Hen. IV., which 
enacted, " that, if any persons were suspected of 
heresy, the ordinary might detain them in prison 
till they were canonicaUy purged, or did abjure 
their errors ; provided always, that the proceedings 
against them were publicly ended within three 
months. If they were convicted, the Diocesan, or 
his Conmiissary, might imprison them at discretion. 
Those that refused to abjure their errors, or after 

* Lamy, Histoire du Socinianisme, P. i. Chap, xxviii. pp. 126, 127. 



abjuration relapsed, were to be delivered over to the 
secular power ; and the Mayors, Sheriflfe, or Bailiffs, 
were to be present, (if required,) when the Bishop, 
or his Commissary passed sentence; and after sen- 
tence they were to receive them, and in some high 
place bum them to death before the people." There 
was no mention in this, or in any other act, relating 
to the punishment of heretics, of a writ, or warrant 
from the King " de Haeretico comburendo." The 
Sheriff might carry the sentence of the Bishop or 
his Commissary, into execution, without waiting for 
the royal warrant.* But by the new law, passed in 
the 25th of Henry VIII., (A. D. 1534,) the execu- 
tion of the sentence could not take place, without 
the King's warrant being first obtained. This Act 
directed also, that heretics should thenceforward be 
tried, according to the forms of law; and was deem- 
ed a great boon, by those who were fevourable to 
the Protestant cause. It took a very formidable 
power from the Church, and lodged it in the hands 
of the civil magistrate, f The persecuted Baptists 
of Holland were probably aware of this ; and many 
of them, after the utter failure of the projects of 
their fanatical leaders, left their native country, and 
sought an asylum in England. 

But they had not been long in this country, before 
they found, that the law, even in its amended shape, 
was armed with sufficient terrors to reach them. 
Stowe informs us, J that on the 24th of Nov., 1638, 
four Anabaptists, — ^three men, and one woman, — 

• NeoTa Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. I. Ch. i. pp. 6, 7. 
t Neal, Vol. L Ch. i. pp. 14, 16. 
t Annals, Ed. 1631. 



all bare faggots at Paul's Cross ; and that on the 
27th of November, in the same year, a man and a 
woman, — Dutch Anabaptists, — were "brent" in 
Smithfield.* He further tells us,f that on the 29th 
of April, 1540, a person named M andeveld, another 
named C!oleiis, and a third whose name he does not 
give, were examined in St. Margaret's Church, and 
condemned for Anabaptists; and that they were 
"brent" on the highway, beyond Southwark, to- 
wards Newington, on the 3rd of May following. 

These, however, were not the only Baptists, who 
suffered for their religious opinions under Henry 
Vm. It appears, that no fewer than twenty-six 
were burnt during this reign ; but whether it was 
for denying the validity of Infant Baptism, or im- 
pugning the doctrine of the Trinity, is uncertain. 
Be this as it may, however, the opinions of the 
" Anabaptists" were deemed so obnoxious, that they 
were excepted from an Act of Grace, passed in the 
year 16384 

At the beginning of the reign of Edward VI., 
when greater liberty began to be allowed in reli- 
gious matters than had been enjoyed during the 
reign of his father, many new opinions were ad- 
vanced, and defended, not only in private conver- 
sation, and public discussions, but also through the 
medium of the press. These opinions, however, 
were not long permitted to be broached with im- 

♦ P. 576. t P. 579. 

X Monthly Repository, 1819, p. 96. 


In the year 1648, Cranmer put forth certain 
" Articles to be enquired of in Visitations within 
the Diocess of Canterbury ;" and one of the inqui- 
ries, directed to be made, was, " Whether any have 
wilftdly maintained and defended any Heresies, 
Errours, or false Opinions, contrary to the faith of 
Christ, and holy Scripture."* These Articles were 
soon followed by active measures for suppressing 
the growth of heresy. 

Among the " heresies vented abroad" at this time, 
Strype enumerates the following. 1, A denial of 
the doctrine of the Trinity ; 2, the assertion, that 
Jesus Christ was a mere man, and not true GK>d, 
because he had the accidents of human nature, such 
as hungering and thirsting, and being visible ; and, 
3, the doctrine, that the only benefit which men 
receive from Jesus Christ consists in their being 
brought to the true knowledge of God. All these 
notions were held by one John Assheton,^ a priest 
of that time ; but being called to account for the 
profession of them, he made a formal recantation, 
and thus saved himself from any penal consequences, 
which might otherwise have ensued. This was in 
the year 1548.$ 

On the 12th of August, 1549, a complaint was 
brought to the Privy Coimcil, that along with cer^ 
tain strangers, who had come over into England, 
there were some of the Anabaptist persuasion, who 
were disseminating their errors, and busying them- 
selves in the attempt to make proselytes. A com- 

* A Collection of Articles, Injunctions, &c., 2nd Ed., 1671, p. 31. 

t Vide Art, 27. 

X Strype's Memorials of Abp. Cranmer, Bk. ii. Ch. viii. pp. 178, 179. 


mission was accordingly appointed without delay, 
for the purpose of searching after, and examining 
all Anabaptists, heretics, and contemners of the 
C!ommon Prayer. This commission consisted of 
twenty-five persons, and was composed partly of 
clergymen, and partly of laymen. At the head of 
it was Archbishop Cranmer ; and three of the mem- 
bers constituted a quorum. They were empowered 
to inquire concerning heretical delinquency; to 
search out, and call for papers in evidence ; to swear 
and examine witnesses ; and, in cases of urgency, 
to dispense with the usual modes of judicial pro- 
cedure, and to have recourse to all ways, methods, 
and forms, by which they could more easily, and 
effectually promote the objects of the crown in is- 
suing the commission. Such as abjured their errors 
were to be restored ; and suitable penances were to 
be appointed for them. But those who proved re- 
fractory were to be consigned, without mercy, to 
the arm of the civil power. In order still further 
to &cilitate the end in view, the Commissioners were 
authorized to call before them all suspected per- 
sons ; and to commit to prison all, who in any way 
obstructed them in the progress of their inquiries.* 
'* Such," says the author of a sketch of Protestant 
persecution, inserted in the seventh volume of the 
Monthly Repository,f and drawn up with great care 
and judgment, — ^' Such was the formidable engine 
of oppression of which the English Protestant re^ 
formers now accepted the use, or rather which they 
had prepared for their own purpose ; as it would be 

• Rynier'a Fcedera, xv. 181, apud Mon. Rep. 1812, pp. 223, 224. 
t A. D. 1812, p. 224. 


unfair to fix upon the memory of the royal child the 
deep disgrace of this sanguinary commission." 

The number of executions, which took place under 
the commission of 1549, must have been consider- 
able, although history is almost silent respecting 
them. Latimer, in his fourth sermon before Ed- 
ward VI., says, " the Anabaptists that were burnt 
here, in many towns in England, as I heard of cre- 
dible men, (I saw them not myself,) went to their 
death, as we will say, without any fear in the world, 
cheerfully." But he adds, in a spirit which does 
him little honour, " Well ! let them go ;" and com- 
pares them with " another kind of poisgned here- 
tics, called Donatists," who " went to their execu- 
tion, as though they should have gone to some jolly 
recreation or banquet, to some belly cheer, or to a 


Burnet divides the Anabaptists of this time into 
two classes ; some only objecting to the baptism of 
infants, and to the mode of administering that rite, 
by sprinkling, instead of dipping, while others held 
many opinions, which had been condemned as here- 
sies in ancient times. Those of the former class 
were regarded as comparatively harmless ; but the 
latter were sought out with avidity, and punished 
with extreme rigour. Some, with the terrors of the 
law hanging over them, made a formal recantation. 
Others evinced more firmness; and could not be 
prevailed jupon, either by threats or punishment, to 
renounce their most cherished convictions. 

Among the latter class was the celebrated Joan 

• Latimer's Sermons, 1758, II. 140, apud Mon. Rep. 1812, p. 305. 


BocHER, sometimes called Joan of Kent. She was 
charged with denying, that Christ took flesh of the 
substance of his mother, which is a species of Gnos- 
ticism. It is difficult to ascertain the precise nature 
of her opinions ; and, on this account, she does not 
form the subject of a separate article in the body of 
this work. But that opinions nearly allied to hers, 
if not identical with them, were held by some of the 
Dutch Baptists, who rejected the doctrine of the 
Trinity, may be seen in the account of Hermann 
Van Flekwyk.* The King hesitated to affix his 
signature to the warrant for the execution of Joan 
Bocher. JBte thought it hard, to consign a poor 
creature to the flames, merely for holding a specu- 
lative opinion, which might, perchance, be the off- 
spring of a disordered brain. But his scruples were 
overruled by Cranmer; and when he signed the 
warrant, he did it with tears in his eyes, declaring, 
that he yielded entirely to the judgment of the 
Archbishop, at whose door the sin, if any, must lie.f 
This heroic woman, (for heroic she was in the best 
sense of the term,) whatever her errors may have 
been, was worthy of a better fate. She had been 
a zealous disperser of Tyndale's English translation 
of the New Testament ; and was herself a diligent 
student of the sacred writings. In order to ensure 
the greater secrecy, she was in the habit of tying 
copies of Tyndale's version with strings under her 
apparel, and so passing with them into court. When 
sentence of death was pronounced against her, for 

• Vide Art. 83. 

t Bumefs Abridgement of the Hist of the lief, of the Church of 
England. London, 1718. Vol. II. Bk. ii. pp. 80, 81. 


denying that Christ took flesh of the vii^in, she said 
to her judges, " It is a goodly matter to consider 
your ignorance. It was not long since you burned 
Anne Ascue for a piece of bread; and yet came 
yourselves soon after to believe, and profess the 
same doctrine for which you burned her. And 
now, forsooth, you will needs bum me for a piece 
of flesh ; and in the end, you will come to believe 
this also, when you have read the Scriptures, and 
understand them." When she was led to Smith- 
field, and Dr. Scory endeavoured to convert her, she 
bantered him ; chai'ged him with falsehood ; and told 
him to let her alone, and go home, and read the 

The Baptists, against whom the commission of 
1549 was principally directed, exhibited a great 
fondness for disputation ; and the generality of them, 
including many even of those who were sound on 
the subject of the Trinity, called in question the 
doctrine of Original Sin. There was one Robert 
Cooke, a person of courtly manners, and some learn- 
ing, who at this time held the office of keeper of the 
wine-cellar to the King, and was in habits of inti- 
macy with Miles Coverdale, afterwards Bishop of 
Exeter ; with Dr. Turner, Physician to the Duke of 
Somerset; and with other learned men, who fre- 
quented the court. This Cooke was not only an 
uncompromising advocate of Adult Baptism, but a 
strenuous denier of the doctrine of Original Sin ; 
and Dr. Turner, whom Anthony Wood calls "a 
noted and forward Theologist, and Physician of his 

• Strype^a Eccles. Mem. Vol. II. Bk. i. Ch. xxvL p. 214. 


time,"* wrote a treatise against him, entitled, "A 
Preservative or Triacle against the poison of Pela- 
gius, lately renewed, and stirred up again by the 
furious Sect of the Anabaptists. Lond. 1551," 
12mo.f This treatise was dedicated to Latimer, 
and ushered into the world by some Latin verses ; 
but it does not appear to have had the effect of 
changmg Cooke's opinions, or depriving him of his 
situation in the palace. He was alive, and in the 
service of Queen Elizabeth in the year 1573, as one 
of the gentlemen of the royal chapel. { 

Kidley, who had been consecrated Bishop of 
Rochester, Sept. 6th, 1548, and on the deprivation 
of Bonner, translated to the See of London, at the 
beginning of October, 1549,§ took an early oppor- 
tunity of shewing his zeal for the Protestant cause, 
by issuing "Articles to be enquired of in the 
Visitation of the Diocess of London." These Arti- 
cles, which were " imprinted at London by Reynold 
Wolfe, MDL.," were not confined to inquiries re- 
specting images, shrines, candles, and other relics of 
popery. Inquisition was directed to be made, "whe- 
ther any of the Anabaptists' Sect, or other, use 
notoriously any unlaw^ or private Conventicles, 
wherein they do use Doctrine, or Administration of 
the Sacraments, separating themselves from the 
rest of the Parish," and "whether any speaketh 
against Baptism of Infants. "|| 

• Athen. Oxon. Ed. 1721, Vol. I. No. 177, f. 154. 

t Strype'a Hist Mem. Vol. II. Bk. i. Ch. ix. pp. 70, 71. 

\ Strype, ubi supra. 

§ Mem. of Abp. Cranmer, Bk. ii. Ch. xi. 

II Collect, of Articles, p. 36. 


The number of " sectaries" in Essex and Kent at 
this time was very considerable. These were the 
first Dissenters from the Church of England ; and 
had separate congregations at Booking, Feversham, 
and other places. They are said to have held the 
opinions of the Anabaptists and Pelagians; and, 
if we may judge from the names of their leaders, 
fifteen of which have been preserved,* consisted prin- 
cipally, if not solely, of Englishmen. " Arianism," 
says 8try'pe^'\ (meaning by that term Antitrinitarian- 
ism under any of its forms,) " now shewed itself so 
openly, and was in such danger of spreading frirther, 
that it was thought necessary to suppress it, by using 
more rugged methods than seemed agreeable to the 
merciful principles of the professors of the GospeL" 

Foreigners, as we have ah-eady seen, had sought 
an asylum from persecution in England, as early 
as the reign of Henry VIII. ; and soon after the 
accession of his son, Edward VI., their number had 
considerably increased. They are usually denomi- 
nated " the Strangers," by the historians of those 
times ; and many of them were Baptists, of different 
shades of sentiment, as regards doctrinal points, 
though agreeing generally on the subject of Bap- 
tism. But it was not till the year 1647, that foreign 
Protestants of any description were allowed to 
hold separate public meetings for religious worship 
within the realm of England. Strype places " the 
beginning of the Strangers' Church at Canterbury " 
in that year ; and says, that it was established under 

• Eccles. Mem. Vol. II. Bk. i. Ch. xxix. p. 236. 
t Ch. xxvi. p. 214, A.D. 1500. 


the auspices of Archbishop Cranmer .♦ About three 
years afterwards, a Church, consisting principally 
of Grerman refugees, was formed in London, under 
the superintendence of John a Lasco, assisted by 
four other Ministers; and, as a mark of special 
favour, three hundred and eighty foreigners, belong- 
ing to this Church, were made denizens of England, j* 
By letters patent from the King, bearing date July 
24th, 1660, the Church of the Augustin Friars was 
granted for their use;{ and considerable latitude 
was allowed them, with regard to forms and cere- 
monies. Nor was there a perfect agreement of 
opinion among them on doctrinal points. The ma^ 
jority were probably believers in the Trinity ; for 
Melanchthon, in a letter addressed to John a Lasco, 
Sept. 1661, speaks of the purity of doctrine in his 
Churches. Yet there were individual members of 
the Church at Augustin Friars, who differed from 
the rest of their brethren. This led to feuds and 
dissensions ; and their disputes were at length car- 
ried so high, that it was thought desirable to refer 
their differences to the Privy Council.§ One of 
their number was excommunicated on the groimd 
of heresy ; and shortly afterwards attested the sin- 
cerity of his profession by a public martyrdom. He 
is represented as belonging to the more zealous 
class of Anabaptists. His name was George Van 
Parris.jI Fox calls him " Germanus Moguntinus," 

• Hwt. Mem. VoL II. Bk. i. Ch. x. p. 78. 

t Neal, A. D. 1660. 

\ Rymef's Feed. xv. 242, apud Mon. Rep. 1812, p. 439. 

§ Stryp«^8 Mem. of Abp. Cranmer, p. 236. 

II Vide AH. 28. 


German of the city of Mentz ; and he prohahly 
was either horn at that place, or resided there before 
his settlement in England. The offence charged 
against him was simply that of denying the divinity 
of Christ, and affirming that the Father only is 
God. The distinction between his alleged heresy, 
and that for which Joan Bocher had previously 
suffered, is well marked by Fox^ who says, " Ger- 
manus de divina Christi essentia ; altera de huma- 

In 1552, a commission was directed to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, and 
other worshipful persons in Kent, to make inquiry 
after sundry heresies lately spnmg up, and for the 
examination and punishment of erroneous opinions ; 
chiefly, as it would seem, if not entirely, those of 
the Baptists and Arians, some of whom still conti- 
nued to make open profession of their doctrines, 
notwithstanding the severe measures which had 
been instituted against them.f This year is also 
fitmous for having given birth to the " Articles of 
the Church of England," originally forty-two in 
number, but aftierwards reduced to forty, and ulti- 
mately to thirty-nine. The express object, with 
which they were framed, was " to root out the dis- 
cord of opinions, and establish the agreement of 
true religion." In a letter of Archbishop Cranmer's, 
dated Nov. 24th, and addressed " to the Lords of 
the Councel," His Grace requests, that their Lord- 
ships will prevail with the King, that all Bishops 
shall be authorized to enforce subscription to them 

* C!ommentarii, p. 202, apud Mon. Rep. 1812, p. 438. 
\ Strype*8 Eccles. Mem. Vol. II. Book iL Ch. zv. p. 365. 


by their respective clergy; "And than I trust," 
writes he, " that such a concorde and quyetness in 
religion shal shortely follow thereof, as eUs is not 
to be loked for many years."* How egregiously 
these Articles have failed to answer the purpose for 
which they were framed, and to realize the predic- 
tions of the Archbishop, the subsequent history of 
religion in this country amply testifies. 

The King died on the 6th of July, 1653, soon 
after the Articles were made public. He was not 
spared to see the fruits of this notable expedient of 
Cranmer's, for securing unanimity of opinion among 
the clergy, and binding down, not that generation 
only, but their posterity for ever, in the chains of 
mental thraldom. 

When Edward VI. was snatched away by death, 
the Primate of all England was in the midst of his 
plans for bringing about a uniformity of opinion 
among the Christians of this country. Had the 
youthfrd monarch's life been spared a few years 
longer, Cranmer himself might have lived to see the 
ftitility of his own schemes. But Providence had 
otherwise ordained. Edward was carried off by 
consumption on the 6th of July, 1553 ; and Cran- 
mer did not long survive him. The former, during 
his brief reign, was a mere puppet in the hands of 
the Archbishop ; and was often called upon to lend 
his sanction to measures, at which his own simple 
and imsophisticated nature recoiled. The number of 
Protestant martyrdoms during the reign of Edward, 

* 8tryp^B Eccles. Mem. Vol. II. p. 273. App. No. Ixiv. p. 158. 


it is true, was not great ; but it was sufficiently large 
to awaken a feeling of regret in every well consti- 
tuted mind, that this young and amiable Prince 
should have been in any way implicated in them. 

Humphrey Middleton, a Baptist teacher, with 
some others of the same persuasion, was in prison 
at the time of Edward's death ; and when upon the 
point of being condemned by Cranmer, and his fel- 
low Commissioners, he said, " Well, Reverend Sir, 
pass what sentence you think fit upon us ; but that 
you may not say you were not forewarned, I testify 
that your own turn will be next!" And so it 
proved, as Fox the Martyrologist remarks : for in a 
short time after, Middleton and his companions were 
liberated, and the Bishops were thrown into prison.* 
Cranmer, who acted with such severity towards the 
Baptists and Arians, met with a fearful retribution ; 
for he was himself burnt as a heretic in the reign 
of Mary. 

The principle upon which he acted, in the day of 
his power, was, " recantation or the stake, "f If the 
unhappy person, to whom this dreadful alternative 
was offered, would forswear himself, and renounce, 
in a set form of words, his inmost convictions, he 
was released ; but if he declined to abjure his pre- 
sumed errors, death was his inevitable portion. When 
Cranmer's own turn came, he made a formal re- 
cantation of his Protestantism, in the expectation, 
no doubt, that his life would be spared ; and that 
he would himself be treated as he had treated others. 

• Peirce'8 Vind. of the Dissenters, in Answer to Dr. Nichols, Pt. i. 
p. 35. 
t Mon. Rep. 1812, p. 443. 


But his recantation was not accepted. The Queen 
was inexorable ; and he was led to the stake, March 
21st, 1565. In the few remaining moments of his 
life, he made the only reparation in his power for 
this act of insincerity, and cowardice. He publicly 
acknowledged his fault ; and exhorted the bystand- 
ers to remain faithful in the profession of that righte- 
ous cause, of which he had proved himself so incon- 
sistent and imworthy an advocate. 

Soon after Mary ascended the throne, she issued 
a Proclamation, in which she forbad all assemblies 
of the people, and announced her intention to punish 
with severity all attempts to stir up a feeling of dis- 
satis&ction by means of such assemblies. Strype 
quotes only a part of this Proclamation, which was 
dated Aug. 18th, 1553; and which, as he justly 
remarks, " had more of rigor than mercy, and ad- 
ministered much more of fear and jealousy, than of 
hope to the professors of the Gospel."* A complete 
copy of it is preserved in Fox's " Acts and Monu- 
ments, "f Its composition was attributed to Gardi- 
ner ; and its tenor was such as to leave no doubt, 
as to the principles, on which Mary's government 
was to be conducted. 

Before the expiration of the year 1553, all foreign- 
ers were ordered to quit the kingdom ; and this has 
been pronounced the only equitable, and considerate 
act, regarding religious matters, which was per- 
formed during this bloody reign. Some of the most 
eminent among the continental reformers, who had 
sought an asylum from persecution in England 

• Eccles, Mem. Vol. III. Ch. iii. pp. 25, 26. 
t P. 1280. 



during the reign of Edward, now found it expedient 
to retrace their steps, and go elsewhere, in search 
of toleration and protection. Among these were 
Peter Martyr, Professor of Divinity, and Canon of 
Christ-Church, Oxford ; and John a Lasco, of whom 
mention has already been made, as Minister of 
the Strangers' Church, in Augustin Friars. ♦ Both 
these learned men, and eminent confessors, became 
widowers, during their short sojourn in England; 
and such was the miserable bigotry of the Catholic 
party, that the remains of Peter Martyr's wife were 
ordered to be removed from the consecrated ground 
in which they had been deposited, and consigned to 
a dunghill.f Ochinus, another of " the Strangers" 
included in Mary's proscription,^ had come to En- 
gland, with Peter Martyr, in 1547; and after preach- 
ing to a congregation of Italian refugees in London, 
had been made a Prebendary of Canterbury, and 
signified his intention of spending the remainder of 
his days in England. He was compelled, however, 
to abandon this intention, and share the fate of his 
friend. Lamy says, that he preached a refined 
species of Arianism, which excited the attention of 
the lovers of novelty, of whom there was then a 
great number ; and that he was even so bold as to 
make an open profession of his opinions. || 

For the better suppressing of heresy throughout 
England, letters were sent from the Queen to all 
Justices of the Peace, commanding them to appre- 

• Neal, Vol. I. Ch. iii. pp. 86, 87. 
t Melch, Adami Theolo^r. Exteror. Vitce. N. iv. 
X Vide AH. 12. 
Histoire du Socinianisme, P. i. Ch. xxyiil. p. 127. 


bend all impugners of the Catholic doctrines, and 
send them to their respective Diocesans, to be re- 
claimed, or consigned to the hands of the execu- 
tioner.* Protestants were dealt with as the worst 
of malefactors, f The importation, as well as the 
printing and vending of heretical books, was strictly 
prohibited ; and any one, who was in possession of 
such books, was required to deliver them up to the 
Ordinary of the diocese, or his Chancellor or Com- 
missary, on pain of the statute made in the reign of 
Hen. IV., for suppressing heresy.J Ecclesiastical 
commissions and visitations were appointed, not only 
for the whole kingdom, but for particular localities, 
where heresy was supposed to be most rife ; § and 
though the exact number of Protestants, who fell 
victims to the tyranny of this reign, cannot now be 
computed, it was fearfully numerous, and amounted 
to at least some two or three hundred. || Several 
abjured and recanted, who had not strength of mind 
Sufficient to carry them through the terrors of mar- 
tyrdom.^ But historians relate, that the more per- 
secution increased, the less it was dreaded ; and as 
it was said of the early Christians, that " the blood 
of the martyrs was the seed of the Church," so, in 
the reign of Mary, the examples of constancy, which 
men and women so frequently had before their eyes, 
while it encouraged Protestants to remain steadfast 
to their principles, led the more sober and reflecting 
among the Catholics to doubt, whether a religion, 

• Strype'B E. M. VoL III. Ch. xxvu. p. 217. 
t Ch. xxxi. p. 23S. J Ch. xxxii. p. 250. 

§ Ch. xxix. p. 289 ; xlii. 340, 341 ; xlix. 382 ; Ixi. 452. 454. 
II Ch. Ixiv. pp. 473-478. f Ch. xli. p. 331. 



which it was thought expedient to support by such 
craelties, and at such an expense of human suflFering, 
could be pleasing in the sight of God.* 

In the reign of Edward, those who declined to 
conform to the rites of the Church of England, had 
been divided into the two classes of heretics and 
Papists. But in the reign of Mary, all who did 
not join the Catholics were ranked indiscriminately 
among heretics: for it was then deemed as much 
a heresy to reject Transubstantiation, as to deny the 
Trinity. The majority of those, who were burnt as 
heretics under Mary, were probably Trinitarians. 
Their heresy consisted in denying the Pope's su- 
premacy ; or in rejecting the doctrine of Transub- 
stantiation ; or in questioning some one or other of 
the peculiar dogmas of the Romish Church. Yet 
there were Antitrinitarians, who underwent perse- 
cution, and even suffered death, in this reign, on 
account of their religious opinions. 

On the 29th of August, 1555, one Patrick Patino- 
HAM was burnt at Uxbridge, on a charge of Arian- 
ism.f In the reign of Mary also was living in 
London Christopher Viret,J who is mentioned 
in laudatory terms by the ministers of Poland and 
Transylvania, in their work " Concerning the true 
Knowledge of God." Contemporary with him was 
Henry Nicolai, founder of the sect, called " The 
Family of Love." After having preached for some 
time in Holland, this heresiarch came to England 
about the year 1556, and made several converts 

♦ Ch. Ixii. pp. 455. 462. f Vide Art 29. 

J Vide Art 30. 


among the common people.* He took up some of 
the fanatical opinions of David George ; boeisted of 
having received revelations from the angel Gabriel ; 
and asserted that he had penetrated into the holy of 
holies, while Moses and Jesus Christ did not so 
much as enter into the holy place. He taught, that 
Christ is not God, and that it is ridiculous to say, 
"God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy 
Ghost," since this is to assert that there are three 
Grods.f The learned Dr. Henry More has devoted 
several Chapters, in his " Magni Mysterii Pietatis 
Explanatio,"J to a confutation of his opinions. His 
works, which were translated from Dutch into 
English, were burnt by the common hangman ;§ 
and the German version shared the same fate as the 
English, so that the writings of Nicolai are now 
rarely to be met with.|| 

Strype, in his " Memorials of Archbishop Cran- 
mer,"^ has some curious remarks on the condition 
and behaviour of the Protestants, while in prison ; 
in the course of which he informs us, that they did 
what lay in their power to keep up a zeal for the 
Protestant religion, among those of its professors 
who were still at large ; and to whom they address- 
ed letters of instruction and advice, as opportunity 
served. But they were not always in a state of 
harmony among themselves. There were many, 

• Lamt/, Hist du Socin. P. i. Ch. xxviiL pp. 127, 128. 

t Sandii Nucleus H. E., L. iii. p. 427. 

X L. vi. C. xii. — xviiL 

§ Schelh. Amoen. Lit T. ix. pp. 676, 677. 

II Vofft, Catal. Libror. Rarior. p. 487. 

f Bk. iii. Ch. xiv. p. 350. 


who denied the doctrines of Predestination and Ori- 
ginal Sin, men of exemplary lives, and of the strict- 
est piety, but exceedingly fond of disputation, and 
eager to make converts to their opinions. These 
were perpetually engaged in argument with their 
fellow-prisoners, many of whom they brought over 
to their own views. Besides these Antipredestinsu 
rians and Pelagians, there were " some few," who 
denied the divinity of Jesus Christ ; and these dif- 
ferences of opinion led to such warm debates, that 
the Marshal of the Queen's-Bench, where some of 
them were confined, was under the necessity of 
separating them from each other, and classing them 
according to their opinions. 

In the year 1556, a report of these divisions 
reached the Privy Council ; and Dr. Martin was sent 
to the Queen's-Bench, to investigate the matter, 
with a view to the correction of the evil.* There 
happened to be some Antitrinitarians in the prison, 
in which Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester, was 
confined ; and he so lost his temper, while engaged 
in disputing with them, as to make use of the most 
passionate and opprobrious language, and to set all 
the ordinary rules of courtesy, and even common 
decency, at defiance. On one occasion he spat upon 
a fellow-prisoner, who, in the ordinary language of 
the time, was called an Arian ; and being censured, 
by some of his own party, for conduct so little be- 
coming a Christian man, and a Christian Minister, 
he wrote a letter in his own defence, bearing the 
following title. "An Apology of Jhon Philpot: 

• Mem. of Cranmer, p. 352. 


Written for spittyng on an Arian : With an Invec- 
tive against tiie Arians, the veri naturall Children 
of Antichrist : With an Admonition to all that be 
fidthfhll in Christ, to beware of them, and of other 
late spmng Heresies, as of the most Enemies of the 
GrospelL" This singular production has been pre- 
served by Strype, who " thought it pity, that any 
scraps of these great men should be lost."* 

It appears that Philpot was present, when a cer- 
tain Antitrinitarian, in the course of argument with 
persons of opposite sentiments, made use of wprds 
to this eflFect; — ^^'that God was no otherwise in 
Christ, than God was in him ; and that he might 
be without sin, as well as Christ." Fired with in- 
dignation at these assertions, Philpot, instead of 
reasoning, or remonstrating with this man, spat 
upon him, which, as he afterwards said, he did for 
the honour of Christ ; namely, " to signify thereby, 
that he was a person not to be accompanied withal 
for his horrid blasphemy, and to relieve that sorrow, 
which he conceived for that blasphemy that was 
spoke against our Saviour." 

As the "Apology" of the Archdeacon is not 
printed by Fox, or included in the letters of the 
Martyrs, a few extracts from it, in the present con- 
nexion, may not be misplaced. 

" I am amased," says he, " and do tremble both 
in body and sowle, to heare at this day certen men, 
or rather not men, but covered with man's shape, 
parsons of a bestly understandying, who, after so 
many and manifold benefyts and graces of oure 

• Eccles. Mem. Vol. III. Ch. xxxiii. p. 261. App. p. 145. 


Lorde God and Saviour Jesus Christ, — declared to 
be both God and man by the spirit of sanctification, 
the eternal Son of God with power, — notwithstand- 
yng are not ashamed to robbe this eternal Son of 
God, and owr most marciful Saviour, of his infinite 
majesty, and to pluck hym owt of the glorious 
throne of his imspeakable deity. O impiety, of all 
others most detestable ! O infidelity, more terrible 
than the palpable darknes of Egipt! O flaming 
fyerbronnes of hell. — ^What harte may bare such 
blasphemy? What eye may quietly behold such 
an enemy of God ? What membre of Christ may 
allowe yn any wyse, such a membre of the Divel ? 
What Christian may have felloship with such rank 
antichrists ? — Brighter is the glory of owre God and 
Christ, than it may be darkned by all the route of 
the prince of darknes. Who dwellith yn the light 
which is unapproachable, although thes ded doggs 
do take upon them with their corrupt sight to perce 
and blemishe the same, to their owne blynding for- 
ever. If the good kynge Esechias, after he had 
hearde the blasphemis of Rabsacie uttered against 
the lyving Lord, tore his royal garments in pecis, 
in testimony of the great sorrow he had conceved 
for the same ; — if Paul and Barnabas, perceving the 
people at Lystris to take the honour of God, and 
attributyng the same to creatures, rent their gar- 
ments, yn sygnification that we all shold declare by 
sum owt ward means the lyke sorrow, when we heare 
or see the lyke blasphemies; How may we with 
patience abide to heare the robbery of the majesty 
of owre Christ's equality with God, who, as S. Paul 
witnesseth, thought it no robbery to be equal with 


Godf What faithful servant can be content to 
heare his master blasphemed? And if perchance 
he show any just anger therfore, all honest men 
do beare with his doyng in that behalf: And can- 
not you. Christian bretheme and sisteme, beare 
with me, who, for the just zeale of the glory of my 
Grod and Christ, beyng blasphemed by an arrogant, 
ignorant, and obstinately blinded Arian, making 
hymself equal with Christ, saying, that God was 
none otherwyse yn Christ, than God was yn hym ; 
making hym but a creature, as he was hymself, 
[pretending] you to be without synne as well as 
Christ ; did spyt on hym ? Partly as a declaration 
of that sorrow which I had to heare such a prowd 
blasphemer of our Saviour, as also to signify unto 
other there present, whom he went about to pervert, 
that he was a parson to be abhorred of aU Chris- 
tians, and not to be companied withal. 

** If this my feet seme to them that judge not 
thyngs according to the spirit of God, uncharitable, 
yet let them know, that God, who is charity, allow- 
ith the same : For it is written, yn the Gospell, that 
Christ came not to set us at peace with men in the 
earth, but at division ; and that is for his cause and 
trewth. And whosoever will not abide with Christ's 
Churche in the trewth, we ought not to show the 
poyntes of charity unto any such, but to take hym 
as a heathen and a publican. — Consider you, ther- 
for, that have love and feloship with such, that the 
same damnation shall fall upon you therfor, as is due 
to wicked heretycks. God will have us to put a 
differens betwixt the cleane and the uncleane, and 
to tuche no uncleane parsons, but to go owt from 



them ; and what is more uncleane than infidelitie 1 
Who is a greater infidel than the Ariant Who 
spoilith his Redeemer of his honour, and makith 
hym but a creature. What felloship is there be- 
twixt light and darknes 1 And what concord can 
there be betwyne Christ and Beliall Never was 
there more abominable Belials than thes Arians be. 
The ignorant Belials worship the creatures for the 
Creator: But thes perverse Arrians do worship 
Christ (who is the Creatour of al thyngs,) but as 
a creature, lyke unto themselfs. What Christian 
tongue may call hym to be a good man, that denieth 
Christ to be the auctour and worker of al goodnes, 
as the Arrian doeth I — ^Who can abyde the eternal 
generation of the Son of God to be denied, synce it 
is written of hym. His generation who shall be hahle 
to declare ? Is there any trewe Christian harte that 
grudgith not at such faithles blasphemours 1 Can 
the eye, ear, tongue, or the other senses of the body, 
be content to heare their Creatour blasphemed, and 
not repyne ? Should not the mouth dedare the zele 
for his Maker, by spyttings on hym that depravith 
his divine majesty, which was, is, and shal be Gkni 
forever ? If God, as it is mentioned in the Apocar 
lypse, will spew hypocrites owt of his mouth, such 
as be nether hot nor cold in his worde ; Why may 
not then a man of God spyt on hym that is worse 
than an hypocrite, enemy to the Godhed manifested 
in the blessed Trinity, who will in no wyse be per- 
swaded to the contrary ] If Christ with a whippe 
dryved owt of the temple such as were prophaners 
thereof, ought not the servant of God, by som lyk 
owtward signification, to reprove the vilany of those 


as go abowt to take away the glory of hym that was 
the builder of the temple 1 

" If Moises be commended by the scripture for 
striking an Egyptian, that did injury to one of the 
people of God ; how may he be justly blamed, which 
did but spyt at hym, that doeth such injury and 
sacril^e to the Son of God, as to pluck hym from 
his eternal and proper Godhede ? — ^Who may heare 
with patience the right ways of the Lord perverted 
by thes divelish holly Arians, and hold his peace ? 
A lyvely faith is not dumb, but is alwais redy to 
resist the gainsaiers, as David saith, I have beleved^ 
and therfor have I spoken. Speak, then, you that 
have tongues to praise and confesse Gtxl against 
thee Arians : Exalt your voice lyke a trompet ; that 
simple men may beware of their pharisaical vermyn, 
and be not deceived, as now many are unawares, of 
simplidtie: Suffer them not to passe by you un- 
poynted at ; yea, if they be so stowte, that they will 
not cease to speak against God owr Saviour, and 
Christ, as they are all new baptized enemies thereto, 
refrayne not to spyt at such inordinate swyne, as are 
not ashamed to tred under their feet the precious 
Godhed of owr Saviour Jesus Christ. Owr God is 
a jealous God, and requireth us to be zelous in his 
cause. If we cannot abyde owr owne name to be 
evil spoken, without great indignation ; shal we be 
quiet to heare the name of owr God defaced, and 
not declare any sign of wrathe against them 1 It 
is written. Be angry and sinne not: A man then 
may show tokens of anger, in a cause which he 
ought to defend, without breach of charitye. The 
prophet David saith, Shall I not hate them, O Lord, 



that hate thee^ and upon thyne enemies shall I not be 
wrathfull : I will hate them with a perfect hatred : 
They are become myne enemies, Aaron, because he 
was not more zelous in God's cause, when he per- 
ceived the people bent to idolatry, he entred not 
into the land of promise. God loveth not luke- 
warme soldiours in the batil of faith, but such as 
be earnest and violent shall inherit his kyngdome. 

" I exhort you, not to judge that evill, which God 
highly commendeth ; but rather pray, that God wil 
give you zele to withstand the enemies of the Gos- 
pell, neither to have any maner of felowship with 
thes Antichrists. 

"As their corrupt faces bashe not to deny the 
eternal Son of God, so are they not ashamed to deny 
the Holy Ghost to be God ; their forehed is lyke 
the forehed of a whore, hardned with counterfeted 
hypocrisye. — The Lord confound them. The Lord 
conserve his elect from their damnable poison. The 
Lord open all Christian eyes to beware of them. 
The Lord geve al his church an uniforme zele and 
mynde to abhor them, and to cast from them. You 
that be of the trewth, and have any zele of God in 
you, store it up, and bend it against thes enemies of 
owre livynge God, which is the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost ; to whom be all honour, praise, 
and glory forever."* 

The Rev. Theophilus Lindsey^ in his " Historical 
View of the State of the Unitarian Doctrine from 
the Reformation to our own Times," f has made 
copious extracts from this " Apology," and has com- 

• A Catalogue of Originals, pp. 145 — 157. 
t Ch. ii. pp. 95 — 151. 


mented upon them at considerable length, pointing 
out the gratuitous assumptions, the false reasonings, 
and the perversions of scriptural language, in which 
they abound. Its author, who was " otherwise," as 
Mr. lindsey admits, " a good man," laboured under 
the very common infirmity of believing himself to 
be in the right, and all the rest of mankind, except 
those who had the good fortune to agree with him, 
in the wrong. He was, too, as Strype very justly 
remarks, "a man of strong aflFections."* He had 
but little of the spirit of Christian meekness in his 
composition. His hostility to the Eoman Catholics 
as well as to the Unitarians was bitter and uncom- 
promising ; but his temerity in denoimcing the opi- 
nions of the former cost him his life ; for he was 
burned at Smithfield on the 18th of December, 
1555.f At his eleventh examination, he told his 
Judges, that, except in the article of the Trinity, 
they were corrupt in all things^ and sound in no- 
thing ; and at his thirteenth examination, he main- 
tained, that he was right, and the Papists and all 
heretics wrong, " by the spirit of God which he had, 
and they had not, and by the word of God, which 
he knew to be on his side, and against them.":^ 

Among the Unitarians, who abjured in the reign 
of Mary, A.D. 1556, were William Powling;§ John 
SiMMs;|| and Robert King.^ Of each of these 
Strype gives some account in his "Ecclesiastical 

• Eccles. Mem. Vol. III. Ch. xxxiii. p. 262. 

t Ch. xxxvi. p. 284. 

X Hbt View, Ch. ii, p. 150, Note n. 

§ Vide Art 31. || Vide Art 32. 

f Vide Art 33. 


Memorials."* When the commission was appoint* 
ed, which led to the disclosure of their opinions, 
there were many Christian professors, who were 
adverse alike to Popery, and to that peculiar form 
of Protestantism, which was embodied in the Arti- 
cles of Edward VI. Some rejected the divinity of 
Christ, and some his humanity. Some believed in 
the impersonality of the Holy Spirit ; or, admitting 
that the Holy Spirit was a person, denied his su- 
preme godhead. Some, again, called in question the 
truth of the doctrines of Original Sin, Election and 
Predestination, Justification by Faith, and Christ's 
Descent into Hell. Some denied the validity of 
Infant Baptism; and some condemned the use of 
things indifferent in religion. Such, indeed, was 
the variety of opinions which prevailed at this time, 
that many felt themselves called upon to draw up, 
and publish summary Confessions of Faith ; lest it 
should be thought, in after times, that they secretly 
entertained these opinions. •]" 

A similar feeling led others to publish attacks 
upon such opinions. Wood mentions one Dr. Bar- 
tholomew Traheron, who had been the Royal libnu 
rian, and Dean of Chichester, during the short reign 
of Edward VI. ; and who, among other things, wrote 
" An Exposition of Part of St. John's Gospel, made 
in sundry Readings in the English Congregation 
against the Arians." J Dr. Traheron, the author of 
these readings, was one of a party of English exiles, 
who left their country on the accession of Mary, 

• Vol. III. Ch. xli. pp. 332, 333. t Ch. xlvii. p. 363. 

t AtheiuB Oxonienses, Ed. 1721, Vol. I. No. 158, f. 137. 


and settled at Frankfort. They retained the use of 
the Book of Common Prayer, set forth in the reign 
of Edward ; and opened a seminary, or college, for 
the advancement of learning. The lecturers, or 
readers, were Dr. Horn for Hebrew, Dr. Mullins 
for Greek, and Dr. Traheron for Divinity; and 
among Dr. Traheron's other readings, or lectures, 
were some upon the Proem of John's Gospel, ex- 
pressly directed against the Antitrinitarians, whose 
opinions were then beginning to find many advo- 
cates, especially among Protestants.* The lectures 
were ten in number, and were printed abroad ; but 
on the return of Dr. T., after the death of Mary, 
were reprinted in England, A. D. ISSS.-f 

Wood also mentions a clergyman, of the name 
of John Pullayne, who published a " Tract against 
the Arians;" and who, on the accession of Eliza- 
beth, was made Archdeacon of Colchester. J 

The Protestants who had taken refuge abroad, 
during the reign of Mary, returned to England on 
the accession of Elizabeth ; but, for the most part, 
in a state of great destitution. Those Ministers, 
who could conscientiously conform, joined the Esta- 
blished Church, in which many of them obtained 
high and honourable preferment ; but others, who 
were more scrupulous, after being permitted to 
preach for a time, were suspended, and ultimately 

• JS^rype's Eccles. Mem. Vol. III. Ch. xli. p. 333. 
t Athen. Oxon. ubi supra. 
} No. 168, f. 148. 


32 HISTORICAL i!nrKODrcno3(. 

In 1559, before Elizabeth had occopied the tiirone 
one foil year. Articles of Visitation were issued, 
directing, among other things, that inquiry should 
be made, ^whether any had wilfully maintained 
and defended any heresies, errours, or felse opinions, 
contrary to the feith of Christ, and holy Scripture."* 
In the year following, as one result of this Visita- 
tion, all the Baptists who dwelt in England were 
banished ; and many others, who were desirous of 
settling there, were prohibited from entering the 
kingdom.f The Strangers' Church in Augustin 
Friars, however, was restored, with one limitation. 
ITie Queen would not permit John a Lasco to re- 
sume the superintendence over it, on the ground 
that this would be to trench upon the jurisdiction 
of her own Bishop. A Lasco, therefore, waived 
his claim; and Grindal was appointed Superin- 

Among the foreigners of eminence belonging to 
this Church was James Acontius, author of a cele- 
brated work, entitled " Satanae Stratagemata," the 
liberal tone of which gave great offence to some of 
the leading Protestants of the day, who claimed for 
themselves a freedom of thought and speech, which 
they were strongly disposed to withhold from others. 
Acontius was employed by Queen Elizabeth as an 
engineer, and obtained a pension from her for some 
improvements, which he introduced into the art of 
fortification; in return for which he dedicated to 
Her Majesty the above-mentioned work, which was 

* A Collection of Articles, Injunctions, Canons, &c., 1671, 4to, p. 178. 
t Lami/f Histoire du Socinianisme, p. 128. 
t NeaPs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. I. p. 165. 


printed at Basle in 1565. During his residence in 
England he fell under a suspicion of Arianism,* for 
which he was called to account by Grindal i-f whose 
sentence was, that Acontius should not be admitted 
as a communicant, either in the Strangers' Church, 
or any other within his own spiritual jurisdiction. J 
Besides the Strangers' Church in Augustin Friars, 
there was, at this time, a French Protestant Church 
in Threadneedle Street; and as the members of 
these Churches enjoyed privileges, which were not 
extended to any other class of dissidents, some En- 
glish Nonconformists, who wished to be at peace, 
and to escape persecution, joined their communion. 
This came to the knowledge of the Privy Council, 
who issued a letter to the Ministers and Elders of 
the Church in Augustin Friars, dated April, 1573, 
in which, after alluding to the indulgence extended 
towards them, they are warned " not to despise the 
customs of the English Church, nor do anything 
that might create a suspicion of disturbing its peace; 
and in particular, not to receive into their commu- 
nion any of this realm that offered to join with 
them, and leave the customs and practice of their 
native country, lest the Queen should be moved to 
banish them out of the kingdom." As a significant 
intimation of this kind could not be disregarded 
with impunity, the letter of the Council had the 
effect intended; and an answer was returned, in 
which, after thanking the government for the pro- 
tection they enjoyed, the Elders promised to expel 

• Vide Art. 34. f Gen. Biog. Diet Art. Acontius. 

} Strips Life of Grindal, p. 45. 
VOL, I. H 


from their Church all, who were not foreigners; 
and, in future, to admit to the privileges of mem- 
bership none, who, from motives such as those to 
which the Council alluded, should withdraw from 
the communion of the Church established by law.* 

One of the Ministers of the Strangers' Church, 
at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, was Hadrian 
HAMSTED,f who, according to Strype^X was touched 
with Anabaptistical and Arian principles ; but had 
the reputation of being a sober and pious man. He 
disclaimed having any connexion with the Baptists, 
but defended them against their persecutors, and 
laboured much for their peaceable and quiet sub«- 
sistence ; insisting upon their right to follow their 
own honest convictions, and contending, that the 
best way to win them from their error, was to treat 
them with gentleness and forbearance.§ But his 
advice was disregarded ; and the Baptists still con- 
tinued to be objects of persecution. 

During the first ten years of the reign of Eliza- 
beth, three separate attempts were made, to ascer- 
tain the number, as well as the occupations and 
religious opinions, of all foreigners settled in En- 
gland, and particularly in London, and the princi- 
pal maritime towns ;|| and in 1575, the writ "de 
Hseretico comburendo," which had slumbered for 
seventeen years, was revived, for the purpose of 
being put into execution against the obnoxious 
Baptists. Rumours of new sects, and heresies, " of 

• NeoTs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. I. pp. 324, 325. Stryp^9 Life 
of Grindal, Bk. i. Ch. y. p. 45. 

t Vide Art 36. % Ubi supra, p. 42. 

§ P. 43. II Bk. i. Ch. xiii. p. 122. 


Judaism, Arianism, and the like/' in and near the 
metropolis, had reached the ears of Grindal in the 
spring of the preceding year ;♦ and it was at length 
determined, that a severe example should be made, 
for the purpose of checking the fiirther growth of 

The Baptists refused to join with the Dutch or 
English Churches ; and held their assemblies in a 
clandestLae manner. On Easter Sunday, 1575, a 
congregation of them was surprised in a private 
house in Aldersgate Street, of whom nearly thirty 
were apprehended, and imprisoned. Five of these 
recanted, and bare faggots at Paul's Cross. Four* 
teen women, and a young boy, after he had been 
whipped, were banished, upon pain of death, if they 
ever returned to England. Five others were shut up 
in a dungeon, where one of them died. The Mi- 
nisters of the Flemish and French Churches endea^ 
voured to convert the rest; but to no purpose. 
They gave in writing the reasons for their refusal, 
and entreated the Queen to set them at liberty; 
but she was so exasperated against them, that she 
would not receive their petition. She thought that 
they were Atheists, and eneinies to all forms of 
civil government. One James de Somere, a mem- 
ber of the Reformed Church, wrote from London 
to his mother, that the Bishop had published certain 
Articles, by the Queen's command, and this among 
others : — ^' That a Christian Government may law- 
fully punish heretics with death." All foreigners 
residing in England were called upon to sign these 

• Bk. ii. Ch. iv. p. 186. 



Articles ; and most of them did so. At length on 
the 22nd of July, two prisoners, who were older 
than the rest, Jan Wielmacker, or Peterson, and 
Hendrick Terwordt, were burnt alive at Smithfield. 
This severity surprised the persecuted Protestants 
of Flanders and Brabant. The members of the 
Dutch Church petitioned for a commutation of the 
sentence ; and Foa?^ the Martyrologist, wrote an in- 
tercessory letter in Latin to the Queen, which has 
been much praised for the elegance of its composi- 
tion. But their prayers were in vain. Fuller en- 
deavours to extenuate the conduct of Elizabeth, by 
representing the execution of these unhappy men 
as an act of necessity ; and says, that as she for- 
merly punished some traitors, had she now spared 
these blasphemers, the world would have condemned 
her, as being more in earnest in asserting her own 
safety, than God's honour.* 

Puller has preserved a copy of Fox's letter to the 
Queen on this occasion; and Mr. Lindsey has given 
it in the Appendix to his " Apology on resigning 
the Vicarage of Catterick." A document of so 
much importance, it is hoped, will not be deemed 
out of place, in the Appendix to the present work, 
where the reader will find it, under No. V. 

About the time to which these observations re- 
late. Dr. Raphael RiTTER,f who was of German 
extraction, though born in London, was actively 

* De la RocMs Abridgement of Brandos History of the Reformat 
tion in the Low Countries, Vol. I. pp. 166 — 169. NeaTs Hist of the 
Puritans, Vol. I. Ch. v. pp. 339, 340. Fulkr's Church History of Bri- 
tain, Bk. iz. pp. 104, 105. Strype*$ Annals, Vol. II. p. 380. 

t Vide Art, 104. 


employed in disseminating a tract in Prussia, enti- 
tled, '* Brevis Demonstratio, quod Chiistus non sit 
ipse Deus, qui Pater, nee ei sequalis." Whether 
he did this of his own accord, or was employed as 
the agent of others, is uncertain. Bock thinks it 
beyond doubt, that he was an instrument in the 
hands of others ; and says that he was probably not 
himself the author of the book, which he was so 
zealous in dispersing.* That he was allowed to 
propagate his sentiments openly in England, is by 
no means probable. The publication of the "Brevis 
Demonstratio" seems, indeed, to have taken place 
chiefly, if not solely in Ducal Prussia ; and this may 
in some measure account for no record having been 
preserved, by our own historians, of the conse- 
quences resulting from its circulation.-f Yet all, 
who mention Ritter, allude to the fact of his having 
been bom in London. 

It would appear, that Antitrinitarian sentiments 
had spread as widely, and taken as deep root, in 
the diocese of Norwich, during the reign of Eliza- 
beth, as in any part of England. In the year 1579, 
Matthew Hamont was burnt alive in that county, 
for denying, among other things, that Christ was 
God; J and in 1583, John Lewes underwent the 
same punishment at Norwich, for " denying the 
Godhead of Christ, and holding divers other detest- 
able heresies. "§ A few years after this, two other 
persons suffered at Norwich for " blasphemy," a 
term which was probably used to designate opinions, 

• Hist. Socin. Prussicii § v. pp. 8, 9. 
t SandU Nucl. H. E., L. iii. p. 430. 
X Vide Art. 105. § Vide AH, 106. 


similar to those held by Matthew Hamont, and 
John Lewes. Nor was the infection confined to the 
laity. It spread among the clergy ; and at length 
attained to such a height, a^ to baffle aU the efforts 
of the Bishop of the diocese for its suppression. 
" These courses," says Strype, " went on at Bury for 
some years, the Ministers varying from, or altering 
the * Common Prayer ' at their discretion, disliking 
the Order of it, and depraving the book ; asserting 
the Queen's Supremacy to be only in civil matters, 
not religious ; and some also holding certain here- 
sies, as that Christ was not God, &c. ; and many 
young Ministers of this sort encreasing in those 
parts ; and all this in great measure by the favour 
of some of the Justices ; till, in the year 1583, they 
received a check by some severe proceedings at the 
Assizes at Bury, Sir Christopher Wray, Lord Chief 
Justice being upon the bench ; when many were 
convicted, and some obstinately persisting put to 
death, and the Justices reprimanded, and warned 
to keep the peace. ♦ ♦ The Bishop quite weary of 
living there, got a remove a year or two after to 
another bishoprick."* But his successor appears 
to have been no less xmfortimate in his attempts to 
check the growth of heresy. 

In the year 1588, Bishop Scambler summoned to 
his court one Francis Ket, M.A., a Clergyman, 
whose opinions concerning Christ are said to have 
been so vile and horrible, that the Bishop felt him- 
self under the necessity of condemning him for an 
obstinate heretic. In a letter, dated Oct. 7th, he 

• Annals, Vol. III. Bk. i. Ch. ii. p. 22. 


informed the Lord Treasurer of the step which he 
had taken, and requested his authority for the speedy 
execution of so dangerous a person ; on which the 
necessary order was issued, and the poor man was 
burnt alive, at a place in the vicinity of Norwich. 
Stawe informs us, that he suflfered for " divers de- 
testable opinions against Christ, our Saviour;"* but 
does not state what those opinions were. Strype^ 
who displays remarkable diligence in the recovery 
of documents of this nature, was not able to 
find the Bishop's letter to the Lord Treasurer, in 
which these opinions were specified. He conjectures 
that the letter was purposely destroyed ; and that 
Ket was probably an Arian, or belonged to the sect 
of " The Family of Love."t 

WoodX mentions one Alexander Gill, who, in 
1601, published, in 8vo, a " Treatise concerning the 
Trinity in Unity of the Deity," expressly directed 
against Thomas Mannering, an Anabaptist, who 
denied that Jesus is very God of very God. At the 
time that Gill wrote the above treatise, he was an 
instructor of youth in the city of Norwich. In 1608, 
he was appointed head master of St. Paul's school ; 
and in 1635, his " Treatise concerning the Trinity" 
was reprinted, at the end of another work, in Folio, 
by the same author, entitled, " Sacred Philosophy 
of the Holy Scripture, or a Commentary on the 
Creed." What became of Mannering we are not 
told : but that he escaped with no severer punish- 
ment than Gill was able to inflict upon him with 

• Chronicle, A.D. 1588. 

t Annals, Vol. III. Bk. ii. Ch. xvii. pp. 557, 558. 

\ Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. No. 690, fol. 602. 


his pen, is scarcely credible. Although the Puri- 
tans encountered much persecution in the reign of 
Elizabeth, the Anabaptists and Arianizers, as they 
were called, were the principal sufferers.* The 
harshest treatment was deemed too mild for them ; 
and the extreme penalty, denoxmced by the san- 
guinary laws of those times against heretics, was 
doubtless inflicted upon many, of whose lives every 
record has long since perished. Elizabeth is re- 
ported to have said, that she perceived with sorrow 
such monsters as Arians living in her kingdom.-f* 

WoodX quotes from Thomas Beard's " Theater of 
Grod's Judgments," (Ch. xxiii.) an account of Chris- 
topher Marlow, the contemporary, or rather im- 
mediate predecessor of Shakspere, in which it is 
said, that Marlow " denied God and his Son Christ, 
and not only in word blasphemed the Trinity, but 
also (as it is credibly reported) wrote books against 
it, affirming our Saviour to be but a deceiver, and 
Moses but a conjurer and seducer of the people, and 
the Holy Bible to be but vain and idle stories, and 
all religion but a device of policy." The Chapter, 
from which this account is taken, professes to treat 
On Epicures and Atheists ;" and Warton^ in his 
History of English Poetry," says, that Marlow's 
scepticism, whatever it might be, was construed by 
the prejudiced and peevish Puritans into absolute 
Atheism." A writer in the " Monthly Repository," § 
questions the accuracy of Beard's account of Mar- 

* Lamy, Hist, du Socin. p. 128. 

t Sandii Nucl. H. E. p. 430. 

X Athen. Oxon. Vol. I. p. 338. 

§ Vol. IX. 1814, p. 118, Book-Wonn, No. xii. 



low ; and endeavours to shew, that it is inconsistent 
with itself, and therefore ought to be taken with 
some allowance for puritanical exaggeration. This 
writer says, " The assertion of Beard that Marlow 
* denied God,' is quite inconsistent with his having 
'blasphemed the Trinity,' which generally means 
nothing worse than an assertion of the divine Unity : 
and if Marlow * wrote books' on the subject, I con- 
fess I would gladly recover them. His opinion of 
Moses might be only that of the late Dr. Geddes, 
which he held, however unaccountably, in strict 
connection with a Christian faith and practice. 
Marlow's supposed invectives against Christ and his 
dying horrors, are too much in the style of polemic 
rant to be easily credited. I cannot better conclude 
this, than with the following passage, from Cibber's 
Lives of the Poets.* ' What credit may be due to 
Mr. Wood's severe representation of this poet's cha- 
racter, the reader must judge for himself. For my 
part, I am willing to suspend my judgment till I 
meet with some other testimony of his having thus 
heinously offended against his God, and against the 
most amiable system of religion, that ever was or 
ever can be. Marloe might possibly be inclined to 
Free-thinking, without running the unhappy lengths 
that Mr. Wood tells us it was reported he had done. 
We have many instances of characters being too 
lightly taken up on report, and mistakenly repre- 
sented through a too easy credulity, especially 
against a man who may happen to differ from us 
in some speculative points, wherein each party, 

• Vol. I. Art. Mabloe. 


however, may think himself orthodox. The good 
Dr. Clarke himself has been as ill spoken of as Wood 
speaks of Marloe.'" But we must now pass on to 
the reign of James the First. 

. The first event in the reign of James, which 
shewed the English what they had to expect from 
their new " Defender of the Faith," was the publi- 
cation of '' Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, 
treated upon by the Bishop of London, President of 
the Convocation for the Province of Canterbury, and 
the rest of the Bishoppes and Cleargie of the said 
Province, and agreed upon with the Kings Majesties 
licence in their Synode begunne at London An. 
Dom. 1603 ; and in the yeere of the Raigne of our 
Soueraigne Lord James, by the Grace of God, King 
of England, France and Ireland the First, and of 
Scotland the 37." 

The first of these " Constitutions and Canons" 
asserted " the King's Supremacy over the Church 
of England in causes Ecclesiastical:" the second 
directed, that all, who refused to the King's Ma- 
jesty " the same authority in causes Ecclesiastical, 
that the godly Kings had among the Jews, and 
Christian Emperors in the primitive Church," should 
be excommunicated ipso facto : and the third pro- 
nounced " the Church of England a true and apos- 
tolical Church." The next five declared, that all 
impugners of the Church of England ; its worship, 
articles, rites and ceremonies; its government by 
Archbishops, Bishops, &c. ; and the form of conse- 

ting and ordering the same, should be excom- 


municatecL The ninth and tenth were leveUed 
against *' schismatics ;" and the eleventh and twelfth 
against ^' maintainers of conventicles, and of consti- 
tutions made in conventicles." The two last men- 
tioned were couched in the following terms. 

" xi. Whosoeuer shall hereafter affirme or main- 
taine, that there are within this Realme other Meet- 
ings, Assemblies or Congregations, of the Kings 
borne Subjects, then such as by the Lawes are helde 
and allowed, which may rightly challenge to them- 
selves the name of true and lawfull Churches : Let 
him bee Excommunicated and not restored, but by 
the Archbishop after his repentance and publike 
reuocation of such his wicked errours. 

" xii. Whosoeuer shal hereafter B&xme that it is 
lawful for any sort of Ministers and Lay Persons, 
or of either of them to ioyne together, and make 
Rules, Orders, or Constitutions in causes Ecclesias- 
ticaU without the Kings Authoritie, and shaU sub- 
mit themselves to bee ruled and gouemed by them : 
Let them be excommunicated ipso facto ^ and not be 
restored vntill they repent, and publikely reuoke 
those their wicked and Anabaptisticall errours." 

The phrase "Anabaptisticall errours" will occa- 
sion no difficulty to those, who have attended to 
the history of the four preceding reigns. Anaha'P' 
Hsts and Arianizers were in those days regarded as 
nearly synonymous terms ; and in order to free him- 
self from these, James made it a matter of duty 
publicly to testify, that he held them in abhor- 
rence.* But he did more than this. Two, if not 
three, were put to death in his reign, on a charge 

* Lamf/f HUt. du Socin. p. 130. 


of heresy. The names of the two, respecting whom 
no doubt exists, were Bartholomew Legate,* and 
Edward WiGHTMANjf to which Lamy adds that of 
Paul Casaubon,J who, as he says, underwent the 
same punishment, for the same alleged crime ; but 
on what authority he has omitted to state. 

Fuller says, that a Spanish Arian was condemned 
to death, on a charge of heresy, in the reign of 
James the First; but that his sentence was not 
carried into execution, and that he was left to linger 
out his life in Newgate. " Indeed," says this honest 
old historian, "such burning of Hereticks much 
startled common people, pitying all pain, and prone 
to asperse jtistice it self with cruelty ^ because of the 
novelty and hideousnesse of the punishment. And 
the purblinde eyes of vulgar judgments looked onely 
on what was next to them, (the suffering it self,) 
which they beheld with compassion, not minding 
the demerit of the guUt, which deserved the same. 
Besides, such being unable to distinguish betwixt 
constancy and obstinacy^ were ready to entertain 
good thoughts even of the Opinions of these Here- 
ticks, who sealed them so manfully with their blood. 
Wherefore King James politickly preferred, that 
Hereticks hereafter, though condemned, should si- 
lently, and privately waste themselves away in Pri- 
son, rather than to grace them and amuze others 
with the solemnity of a publick Execution, which 
in popular judgments usurped the honour of a per- 
secution. "§ 

• Vide AH. 181. f Vide Art. 182. 

t Hist, du Soc. p. 130. 

§ Church History of Britain, Bk. z. Sect iv. 


In allusion to the martyrdom of Wightman by 
burning, and to the circumstance of his being an 
Antipsedobaptist, Crosby says, " The first who was 
put to this cruel death in England was William 
Sawtre, supposed, upon very probable grounds, to 
have denied in/ant baptism ; and this man, the last 
who was honoured with this kind of martyrdom, 
was expressly condemned for that opinion : so that 
this sect had the honour both of leading the way, 
and bringing up the rear of all the martyrs who 
were burnt alive in England." 

Although James had found, by experience, that 
the burning of heretics, was not the most efficacious 
mode of suppressing heresy, he indulged his pro- 
penalty for incendiarism, by the more harmless 
practice of burning their books. Isaac Casaubon 
appears to have been a great advocate for this last 
appeal of baffled and defeated bigotry. This learned 
divine had been brought up in the school of Geneva; 
and on the death of Henry IV. of France, settled 
in England, where he obtained a royal pension, and 
considerable preferment in the Church. It was at 
his instigation, that King James ordered Conrad 
VoBsnus's " Theological Treatise on God and his 
Attributes" to be burnt, in the year 1611 ;♦ nor is 
it improbable, that he was consulted, and became 
an approving party, in the burning of Legate and 
Wightman, in the spring of the year following. 
We learn, too, from Casaubon himself, that the 
Latin translation of "The Eacovian Catechism," 

• Vide Art. 153, No. 24. 


which Jerome Moscorovius had dedicated to King 
James, shared the same £gite, in the year 1614.* 

It was about this time, that Anthony Wotton 
lived, of whom Chewneyf writes as follows. " This 
is the last perverse Publisher of this damnable He^ 
resie^ that we shall think fit to name; and who first 
openly professed it in England^ and by mafiMScript 
Pamphlets^ and Printed books, dispersed it in Lan^ 
dan; a place as much adicted to, and taken with 
nomlty^ as any other whatsoever : For let the Dac^ 
trine be what it will, if it smell not of novelty^ it 
hath there, for the most part, no better entertain- 
ment then Christ among the Gadarens^ they regard 
it not ; jfrom thence it was carryed as a discovery of 
some n,ew truths into several places of the Country ; 
and this about forty years ago. But being detected, 
hotly pursued, and strenuoushf opposed, by that 
stout Champion for the Truths Mr. George Walker^ 
Pastor of St. John the Evangelist, London ; and by 
his Zeal, together with the industry of some other 
Ministers in that City, he was quickly quell'd ; and 
his opinion seemingly suppressed : But yet, because 
he would still uphold a secret faction : He wrote a 
Book in Latine, wherein he seemed to retract, or 
rather to run from some desperate opinions, which 
he formerly maintained, and wild speeches and eo?- 
pressions, which he had uttered, which are to be 
seen in his private Manuscripts, given by him to 
those of his party, and so delivered over fix)m hand 
to hand, and formerly dispersed : But the Plaister 

* Ezercitat in Annal. Card. Baronii, Dedic. 
t Anti-Socmianism, &c. London, 1656, p. 230. 


was notMng neer so broad as the sore. For his 
retraction^ if any, was clandestine and secret, whereas 
his endeavours to propagate this pernicious heresie^ 
were notariausly manifest by his writings, wherein 
he professeth in plain words his desent from all our 
Orthodox Divines^ which had before written any 
thing concerning the necessary Doctrine of a sinners 
justification before God ; saying, I am forced to dis^ 
sent from them all: In that very Book he shews, 
how skilful he is in the art of dissimulation^ which 
is able to deceive thousands : For therein he makes 
a shew of consent with them, and endeavours to 
perswade them to beleeve it, whereas he wrests their 
doubtful speeches to countenance, and to cover his 
errour and socinianism, which he would have his 
seduced Disciples to embrace and follow." It would 
appear from this notice of Anthony Wotton, that 
he flourished about 1616 ; but no evidence has been 
adduced, to prove that his faith on the subject of 
the Trinity was unsound. In the year 1641, a post- 
humous vindication of himself from the charge of 
Socinianism was published, in 12mo, at Cambridge, 
by his son, and bore the following title. " Mr. 
Anthony Wotton's Defence against Mr. George 
Walker's Charge, accusing him of Socinian Heresie 
and Blasphemie: written by him in his life-time, 
and given in at an hearing by Mr. Walker pro- 
cured ; and now published out of his own papers by 
Samuel Wotton his Sonne. Together with a Pre- 
face and Postscript, briefly relating the Occasion 
and Issue thereof, by Thomas GataJcer an eye and 
eare-witness of either." Mr. George Walker, B. D., 
the individual mentioned by Chewney, had published 


a Treatise, under the title of '* Socinianisme in the 
Fundamental! point of Justification discovered and 
confuted." We leam, from Wood's account of this 
Mr. Walker,* that he was an excellent scholar, an 
acute reasoner, a good orientalist, and an able di- 
vine; but Archbishop Laud describes him as ''a 
disorderly and peevish man." He belonged to the 
puritanical party, and underwent two years' impri- 
sonment, for preaching against what he deemed the 
profanation of the Lord's-day. In his work on Jus- 
tification, which was published in 1641, 8vo., he 
appears to have attacked Anthony Wotton ; and it 
was this which led Samuel Wotton, the son of An- 
thony, in the course of the same year, to publish 
his father's Defence of himself against the charge 
of Socinianism. In this Defence, Anthony Wotton 
pleads his own cause, and the reader is left to acquit 
or condemn him, according to the nature of the 
evidence adduced. On the subject of Justification, 
he may be said, perhaps, to Socinianize ; but on other 
subjects, there seems to have been a wide difference 
between his opinions, and those of Socinus. 

It was during the reign of James I., that the cel^ 
brated Synod of Dort was held. To this Synod he 
sent Dr. Carleton, Bishop of Llandaff; Dr. Hall, 
Dean of Worcester, and afterwards Bishop of Nor- 
wich ; Dr. Davenant, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury ; 
and Dr. Samuel Ward, Master of Sidney College, 
Cambridge; who, together with several divines of 
the high Calvinistic party, from Switzerland and 
Gfermany, did all in their power to damp the spirit 

• Fasti Oxon. Vol. I. fol. 219, 220. 


of free inquiry, which had begun to shew itself 
among the followers of Arminius.* But James had 
attained considerable notoriety, some years before 
this Synod was convened, by the part which he took 
against Conrad Vorstius. 

Arminius died in 1609, and Vorstius was chosen 
to fill the vacant divinity chair of the University of 
Leyden, as his successor. The latter had corre- 
sponded with some of the Unitarians in Poland, and 
the neighbouring countries ; and was suspected of 
being tainted with their opinions. In the year 1610, 
not long after his appointment to the professorship 
at Leyden, he published an enlarged edition of his 
treatise " De Deo," which he dedicated to the Land- 
grave of Hesse ; and this being fiercely assailed as 
soon as it made its appearance, he printed, in the 
course of the same year, a defence of it, entitled, 
" Apologetica Exegesis pro Tractatu De Deo."f In 
the autumn of the year following, a few months 
before the burning of Legate and Wightman, these 
two works fell into the hands of James, while he 
was on a hunting progress ; and when he had read 
them, he lost no time in dispatching a letter to Sir 
Kalph Winwood, his Ambassador in Holland, com- 
manding him to use all his influence against their 
author, and to express his own strong displeasure 
at any marks of attention, which Vorstius either 
had received, or might receive. J In his manifesto 
to the States-General he says, " What, if Vorstius, 

• WTUtelocke's Memorials, p. 297, A.D. 1618. Fuller'8 Worthies, 
p. 159. 

t Sandii BibL Ant. p. 98. 

X Fuller's Church Hist. Bk. x. Sect. iv. pp. 60—62. 




that miserable being, choose to deny the blasphe- 
mous heresies and proofs, of Atheism which he has 
hitherto published, or to employ equivocations in 
softening them down ! such a course will perhaps 
have the eflfect of prolonging his life, and prevent 
him from being burnt ! On this subject I appeal 
to your Christian prudence, and ask, Did there ever 
exist a heretic more deserving of this species of 
punishment ?" But this appeal, direct and unequi- 
vocal as it was, failed of its object ; and the King, 
being frustrated in his attempts to bring Vorstius 
himself to the stake, ordered his book to be burnt 
in St. Paul's Church- Yard, and at the two Univer- 
sities.* He likewise commanded Sir Ralph Win- 
wood to protest against the proceedings of the States- 
General in this matter ; and Sir Ralph acted in strict 
compliance with the orders which he received. But 
James, with that weakness and irresolution which 
characterized the whole of his conduct, became so 
alarmed at the probable consequences of Win wood's 
protest, that he deemed it prudent to apologize to 
the Dutch Ambassador at his own court, for the 
strong language which Win wood had used ; and was 
even mean enough to entertain serious thoughts of 
writing to clear himself, and throw all the blame on 
his representative.f In the end it was determined, 
by way of compromise, that Vorstius should leave 
Leyden, but have permission to reside in any other 
town in the dominion of the States, and be main- 

• The Works of James Arminius, translated from the Latin by James 
Nichols, Vol. I. pp. 465, 466. 

t Winwood's Memorials, Vol. III. p. 332, apud CcU?ierine Mdcaulay's 
Hist of England, Vol. I. p. 74. 


tained at their expense. He accordingly went to 
Grouda, where he lived privately till the Synod of 
Dort, when sentence of banishment was pronounced 
against him. He then retired to Tonningen, in 
the Duchy of Holstein, where he died, Sept. 29th, 
O.S., 1622, an Antitrinitarian.* 

It has been said that James's quarrel with Vors- 
tius was a personal one, and that his resentment 
was occasioned by the ironical manner, in which 
Vorstius had spoken of him in one of his works ; 
yet Salisbury says, "the zeal which stirreth the 
King against that man, [Vorstius,] so kindles in him 
upon every accident of discourse, as we have all 
reason to bless God in making us subjects to such 
a Bang, that, without mixture of glory or private 
design, taketh so much to heart the injury that is 
done to the Blessed Trinity." f 

Towards the latter part of the reign of James, 
his conduct, as respects the Arminian party, under- 
went a complete change. When he first took up 
his pen against Vorstius, he acknowledged, that he 
did not even know of the existence of such a person 
as Arminius, till after his death, and till all the 
Reformed Churches in Germany had begun to com- 
plain of him; J yet, in 1611, we find His Majesty 
moving heaven and earth against the Remonstrant 
party in Holland. At the Synod of Dort, A.D. 
1618, his Calvinistic zeal had not undergone the 
slightest abatement. In the year 1621, however, 
he appears to have outgrown his Calvinistic preju- 

• Vide Art. 151. 

t Oath. Macaulay's Hist, of England, Vol. I. p. 73. 

t NiehoWs Translation of the Works of Arminius, Vol. I. p. 455. 

I 2 


dices ; and from this time we find him conferring 
all the highest ecclesiastical preferments upon the 
leaders of the Arminian party, — Buckeridge, Neile, 
Harsnet and Laud. The secret of all this was, that 
the English Divines of the Arminian party, seeing 
that their views could not be supported by an 
appeal to the Thirty-nine Articles, flattered the pre- 
tensions of James to unlimited power, and sheltered 
themselves under the wings of the prerogative.* 
The Puritans, on the other hand, were for the most 
part high Calvinists, and sided with the people in 
opposing the arbitrary encroachments of the King.f 
The same causes continued to operate through the 
remainder of the Stuart Dynasty, which was one 
continued struggle between republicanism and ar- 
bitrary monarchy, as regarded politics; and between 
Arminianism and Calvinism, as regarded religion. 
Nor has the effect of this change ceased to be felt 
even down to our own times; for, till within a com- 
paratively recent period, the Church of England 
exhibited the strange anomaly of "a Calvinistic 
Creed, a Popish Liturgy, and an Arminian Clergy." 

On the accession of Charles the First, the Duke 
of Buckingham was appointed to the office of Prime 
Minister; and to him alone Lord Clarendon ascribes 
all the calamities which befel England during this 
reign. But these calamities are not attributable 
solely to the mismanagement of Buckingham. There 
were many predisposing causes already in existence, 

• NeoTs Hist of the Puritans, Vol. II. p. 132. 

t Rapin's Hist, of England. Lond. 1732, Fol. Vol. II. p. 214. 


which had their origin in the reign of James I. 
The Judges were grossly corrupt : the Council-Ta^ 
ble had usurped the office of the Legislature : the 
Star-Chamber ruled everything in civil matters; 
and the Court of High Commission, which took 
cognizance of ecclesiastical affairs, was more inqui- 
sitorial than the inquisition itself.* 

The public state of religion W£is one of the first 
subjects to which the cabinet directed its attention ; 
and Laud delivered to Buckingham, at his own re- 
quest, a schedule, in which the names of the lead- 
ing ecclesiastics were written out in two separate 
columns, — one column being marked with the letter 
Ofor Orthodox, and the other with P for Puritans. '^ 
The object of this is sufficiently plain. It served 
as a guide to Buckingham, in the distribution of 
patronage; and enabled him to point out to the 
King those Clergymen who were favourable, and 
those who were adverse to the royal supremacy in 
ecclesiastical matters. Laud, at the same time, re- 
ceived orders to consult Bishop Andrews, what steps 
should be taken, in the ensuing Convocation, re- 
specting the five distinguishing points of Calvinism. 
But the wary Bishop advised his brother Andrews 
to leave the subject untouched, because the majority 
of the Lower House were Calvinists, and forty-five 
of them had entered into an agreement to obstruct 
every measure, which tended towards Pelagianism, 
or Semi-Pelagianism.{ But though the discussion 
of these knotty points was not allowed in the Con- 

• NeaTs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. II. Chap. iii. pp. 153—160. 
t RuMhwortKs Hist. Recollections, Fol., Lond. 1659, p. 167. 
t NeaFs Hist. Vol. H. p. 161. 



vocation, they were perpetual themes of declamation 
out of doors. The press teemed with pamphlets on 
the Arminian controversy; and conferences were 
appointed, for the purpose of debating the subject, 
in which, as usual, both sides claimed the victory. 
The King at length interposed, and put a stop to 
these unseemly disputes, by issuing a Proclamation, 
the effect of which was to silence the Puritans, and 
give an unrestrained license to the tongues and 
pens of the Arminian party, under whose control 
the press then was.* 

It is to this period in the history of the Church 
of England, that we may trace the origin of the 
Latitudinarian party, if that can be called a party, 
in which the greatest possible diversity of opinion 
prevailed, on almost every one of the usual topics 
of religious controversy. The object of this party 
was to put an end to the bitter strife which existed, 
between the more violent Episcopalians, and the 
more rigid Puritans; to widen the terms of religious 
communion, as far as it could be done, without 
affecting the unity and stability of the Established 
Church ; and to excite among all classes of Protest- 
ants a feeling of mutual forbearance, and good- will. 
They advocated Episcopacy, simply on the ground 
of expediency, and not as an institution of divine 
appointment. They endeavoured also to limit the 
fundamental doctrines of Christianity to as few arti- 
cles as possible ; looking upon the disputes between 
Calvinists and Arminians as a mere war of words, 
or at least regarding such matters as the Five Points 

• RushtcortKs Hist. Recollections, pp. 412, 413. 


as among the non-essentials of Christianity. But 
their efforts were misconstrued. Their attempts to 
harmonize the jarring elements of religious discord 
were ascribed to indifference, by the leading dispu- 
tants on both sides; and the epithets Atheist^ Deist 
and Socinian, were lavishly bestowed upon them 
by those, who were incapable of appreciating their 
motives, and doing justice to their enlarged and 
liberal views. 

The opinions of Dr. Hampden, the present Bishop 
of Hereford, on certain points of theological contro- 
versy, have exposed him to the charge of Latitudi- 
narianism. " But Latitudinarianism," as Archdea- 
can Julius Charles Hare observes, in reference to 
the case of his Lordship, " may be of divers kinds. 
One kind, which is utterly worthless, may result 
from an indifference about religious truth. Ano- 
ther kind may arise from a Christian, Apostolical 
largeness of spirit, which recognizes that all minor 
differences are of very subordinate, if of any impor- 
tance, provided there be agreement upon the cen- 
tral principles of truth. In the interval between 
these two extremes there is room for many shades 
of opinion."* From this definition, it will at once 
be seen, that a perfect uniformity of opinion on the 
subject of the Trinity was not likely to exist, among 
the Latitudinarians of the reign of Charles the 
First. Some were perfectly orthodox on this arti- 
cle; others diverged into the opposite extreme of 
heterodoxy; and many adopted the intermediate 
path of Sabellianism, and Arianism, under some 

• Letter to the Dean of Chichester on the Appointment of Dr. 
Hampden to the See of Hereford, p. 37. 

o6 HmowcAL cmtMCcnam. 

of dieir naaeroos wwKfifatioos, and aioedistinc- 


The iDOSt cefebialed LatundhiaiBzis of this poiod 
were, ** the ever-meiiMxaide Johs H»ir« of Eton;" 
"the immortal CHnxoGvoBTH." and Lccirs Caret, 
LoBD Falkxasd; and it b w^ kimwiL, that each 
of the«e has, in torn, &Ilen nnder the charge at 
Socinianism. To the last of this illastiioiis trio a 
place win be assigned in the body of this work.* 
Respecting the charge against the other two, the 
present seems to be the most soitable piace to add 
a few words. 

lo the year 1636, Edtcard Kmott, the Jesnit, pab- 
lished a pamphlet, entitled, " A Direction to be 
observed by X. X. if bee meane to proceede in 
Anifwering the Booke intitled, ' Mercy and Truth, 
or Charity maintained by the Catholics, &c.' " Its 
object was io prejudice the public mind against 
Oiillingworth, by charging him with Socinianism, 
the most odious imputation which its author could 
find, and the best adapted to answer his sinister pur- 
pone. Of this pamphlet M. Des Maizeaux gives an 
abstract in his " Historical and Critical Account of 
the Life and "Writings of William Chilhngworth. 
London, 1725," 8vo.f It is divided into Five 
Chapters; and the heads of these Chapters will 
Bcrve to give some idea of the extent to which So- 
cinianism was supposed to prevail at that time. In 
Chap. i. the author gives an account of the Soci- 
nians, in which he does everything in his power to 

itlcr them odious in the eyes of the public. In 

^^wiucr t 

Viilt A,t. 275. t Pp- 105—136. 


Chap. ii. he adduces reasons why so many embrace 
Socinianism ; y\z. firsts because the Protestants deny 
the infallibility of the Church of Rome, and have 
no infallible head of their own to fall back upon ; 
secondly^ because it is the aim of the Church of 
England to produce a mere outward conformity; 
thirdly^ because Protestant Divines neglect the study 
of Scholastic Theology, and being superficial dis- 
putants, find themselves unable to solve the objec- 
tions of the Socinians ; and fourthly^ because the 
men of those times would not be Catholics, and 
could not make up their minds to be Protestants, 
and therefore took the easy way of believing just 
what they chose. In Chap. iii. the author enume- 
rates " diverse erroneous heresies, maintained by a 
certain Socinian," (meaning Chillingworth,) " con- 
trary either to the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church 
of England, or to the faith of all Christians." Chap, 
iv. bears the title, " What the Answerer," (again 
meaning Chillingworth,) " is to observe, if he will 
speake to any purpose;" and Chap. v. relates to 
" the Motives for which the Answerer forsooke Pro- 
testantisme." The pamphlet extends through forty- 
two pages, 8vo., and professes to be printed " Per- 
missu Superiorum." It is exceedingly scarce ; and 
M. Des Maizeaux was never able to meet with more 
than a single copy, for the perusal of which he 
acknowledges himself indebted to Mr. "VVTiiteside, 
the Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum. 

But strenuously as Knott has laboured to convict 
Chillingworth of Socinianism, he has failed to bring 
the charge home to him ; and even Cheynell, who 
was Chillingworth's most bitter enemy, and who 


published " A Prophane Catechisme, collected out 
of Mr. Chillingworth's Works," " fit," as he says, 
" for Racovia or Cracovia," has been equally unsuc- 
cessful.* " Indeed," says this contentious Divine, 
alluding to Chillingworth, in another of his works, 
** hee hath one Argument which makes me beleeve 
that he and more of that faction who countenance 
many Socinian errors, doe not agree with the Soci- 
nians in all points, because Socinianisme, if it be 
taken in all its demensions, is such a Doctrine by 
which no man in his right minde can hope for any 
honour or preferment either in this Church or State, 
or in any other. "| Elsewhere he says, " either Mr. 
Chillingworth was guilty of some equivocation and 
sly evasion, or else he grew worse and worse, and 
would not anathematize a grosse Socinian. And if 
in these latter dayes Seducers grow worse and worse, 
I shall not wonder at it, 2 Tim. iii. 13. "J But even 
here the charge of Socinianism is not substantiated 
against this great man ; for every candid reader will 
readily accept the alternative, that he " would not 
anathematize a Socinian." There is, in fact, no 
evidence to prove that Chillingworth was a Socinian, 
if we except a notable passage in the "Sidney 
Papers," which led Whiston to say of him, " this 
Mr. Chillingworth had a strange diffidence and 
mutability of temper ; which had made him when 
first a Protestant to turn Papist ; and when a Papist, 

♦ Chillingworthi Novissima, &c., by Francis CheyneU, London, 
1644, 4to. Signature E 3— H 3. 

t The Rise, Growth, and Danger of Socinianisme : by Fr. Chet/neU, 
late of Merton College. Lond. 1643, 4to. p. 31. 

X Chillingworthi Novissima, Signature C 4. 


to turn Protestant again ; then to favour Arianism, 
as it is called, and on that account, in part by re- 
fusing to sign the 39 Articles, to lose some expected 
preferment ; then to sign the 39 Articles, and accept 
of preferment, and after all to defend Socinianism 
itself."* But the passage, on which this last charge 
is founded, has been altogether misunderstood, as 
will be shewn in our account of Lucius Carey, the 
second Lord Falkland,-}' whom Aubrey designates 
" the first Socinian in England." This quaint old 
writer, in his Life of Chillingworth, J throws out no 
suspicion as to his being tainted with heresy ; but 
he tells us there,§ and elsewhere,|| that he has heard 
" Mr. Thomas Hobbes," who knew ChiUingworth 
well, say, that " he was like a lusty fighting fellow, 
that did drive his enemies before him, but would 
often give his owne party terrible smart back- 

Walker^ in his " Attempt towards recovering an 
Account of the Number and Sufferings of the Clergy 
of the Church of England,"^ asserts that Chilling- 
worth, on his re-conversion to Protestantism, " had 
a tincture of Socinianism ;" but regarding him as a 
man of integrity, he contends that we have unde- 
niable evidence of his subsequent orthodoxy, in the 
fact of his having afterwards accepted preferment 
in the Church, and subscribed to the Thirty-nine 

• Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston, vrriiien 
by himself. Lond. 1749, Svo. p. 389. Sidney Papers, Vol. II. p. 669. 
t Vide Art. 275. J Letters &c. Vol. II. pp. 286—289. 

§ P. 288. II Vol. III. p. 629. 

f London, 1714, Fol. Pt. ii. p. 63. 


Hales of Eton, like Chillingworth, has been ac- 
cused of Socinianizing. It is well known, that he 
attended the Synod of Dort, though he did not go 
thither in the capacity of a Delegate. At that time 
he was a Calvinist ; but in spite of the overwhelm- 
ing preponderance of Calvinistic voices in that as- 
sembly, he returned to England an Arminian. He 
was accustomed to say to his intimate friends, that, 
at the well pressing of John iii. 16, by Episcopius, 
before the members of that Synod, he bade John 
Calvin good night.* After this he grew fond of 
the method of theologizing practised by the Remon- 
strants ; and " being naturally of an open and frank 
disposition," as the writer of his life in the " Biogra- 
phia Britannica" remarks, "he both talked and wrote 
in such a style as brought him under some suspicion 
of leaning a little to Socinianism." Cheynell, allud- 
ing to his celebrated tract on Schism, says, " I am 
credibly informed that when the Author of it was 
asked by a great person in this Kingdome, what he 
thought of the Socinians^ he answered, ' If you could 
secure my life I would tell you what I think. '"f 
Aubrey says of him, " I have heard his nephew, Mr. 
Sloper, say, that he much loved to read Stephanus, 
who was a Familist^ I thinke, that first wrote of 
that sect of the Familie of Love : % he was mightily 
taken with it, and was wont to say, that sometime 
or other these fine notions would take in the world. 
He was one of the first Socinians in England, I 
thinke the first'' ^ What credit may be due to 

• Biog. Britan. AH. Hales, Note F. Vol. IV. p. 2483, Ed. 1757. 
t The Rise, Growth and Danger of Socinianisme, Chap. iv. pp. 39, 40. 
i Vide Art, 30. § Letters &c. Vol. III. p. 3G3. 


these declarations, the reader must be left to judge 
for himself. In the mean time, the writer may be 
permitted to remark, without positively claiming 
either Hales or Chillingworth as an Antitrinitarian, 
that a higher compliment could not be paid to any 
body of Christians, than to say, that the opinions, 
and habits of thought, which distinguished such 
men, bear a resemblance, or an approximation to 
their own. 

Laud, who was Chillingworth's godfather, and 
the head of the Anti-Puritanical party, succeeded 
the Duke of Buckingham as Prime Minister in 1628, 
when that nobleman was assassinated by Felton. 
The King entrusted to him the entire management 
of the civil and ecclesiastical affairs of the nation. 
One of his first acts, after his elevation to the See 
of London, had been to adopt summary measures 
for putting an end to the controversy respecting 
Predestination. For this purpose he caused the 
Thirty-nine Articles to be printed, with a Royal 
Declaration prefixed to them, prohibiting all such 
controversies, and requiring that no one should, in 
future, either preach or publish anything on the 
subject of God's decrees, but take the Article on that 
subject* "in the literal and grammatical sense," and 
not put upon it any private construction of his own, 
on pain of being brought to answer for it before the 
Ecclesiastical Commission.-f The Calvinists peti- 
tioned against this Declaration, but without effect ; 
and all publishers who disregarded the Royal In- 

• Articles of the Church of England, No. xvii. 

t NeaVn Hist of the Puritans, Vol. II. pp. 188, 189. 



junction were summoned before the Court of Star- 

When the Parliament assembled, one of the first 
subjects, which came under the consideration of the 
House of Commons, was the King's Declaration; 
and it was voted, that the main object of that Decla- 
ration was to keep down the Puritans, by giving an 
unfair advantage to the opposite party. After seve- 
ral eloquent speeches, deprecating the Popish ten- 
dencies of the Government, the House entered the 
following doctrinal protest. " We, the Commons in 
Parliament assembled, do claim, protest, and avow 
for truth, the sense of the Articles of Eeligion 
which were established by Parliament in the thir- 
teenth year of our late Queen Elizabeth, which by 
the publick Act of the Church of England, and by 
the general and current exposition of the writers of 
our Church, have been delivered unto us. And we 
reject the sense of the Jesuits and Arminians, and 
all others that differ from us."* 

From this brief sketch, a tolerably correct notion 
may be obtained of the state of religious parties, 
during the first few years of the reign of Charles I. 
The struggle, thus commenced, went on with little 
or no interruption, till the Puritanical party gained 
the ascendancy, and Calvinism prevailed not only 
in the Senate, but among a great part of the army, 
and throughout the nation at large. 

In the mean time, however, Unitarianism was 
making its way silently and gradually; and winning 
proselytes among men of reflecting minds of all 

• Xeats Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. II. p. 193. 


classes. As one indication of its progress, we may 
mention the foUowing Sermon, printed for Johi 
Parker, in 1627. " The Arraignment of the Ar- 
riaA; his Beginning, Height, Fall; in a Sermon 
preached at Pauls Crosse, June 4, 1624, being the 
First Sunday in Trinitie Term : by Humphrey Sy- 
denhamj Mr. of Arts, and Fellow of Wadham Col- 
lege in Oxford. London." 4to. The text of this 
Sermon is John viii. 68, " Before Abraham was, I 
am." The Sermon itself is the third of five, bearing 
the following title. "Five Sermons upon severaU 
Occasions preach'd at Pauls Crosse, and at Saint 
Maries in Oxford: by Humphrey Sydenham, &c. 
London, printed by John Haviland, for Nicholas 
Tussell, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe 
of the BaU in Pauls Church Yard, 1627." The 
following is a sample of the author's style. " Tell 
me devill (for hereticke is too cheap and low an 
attribute, when thou art growne to such a maturity 
and height of prophanation) was there a time when 
omnipotent God the Father was not, and yet there 
was a God ? Gird now up thy loynes, and answer 
if thou canst, for if he began to be a Father, then 
he was first a God, and after made a Father, how 
is God then immutable, how the same one, when 
by accesse of generation he shall suffer change. 
Grant mee then a God etemall, and there must be 
a Father, a sonne too, they are relatiues, and can- 
not digest a separation either in respect of time or 
power."* We may judge, from the strength and 
earnestness of this language, as to the state of things 

• p. 111. 


which called it forth ; for the preachers of those 
days were not in the habit of fighting against 

At length, in the year 1640, it was thought expe- 
dient to adopt measures for checking the progress 
of the Socinian Heresy, as it was termed. The Con- 
vocation of that year was opened, with unusual pomp, 
on the 14th of April, the day after the meeting of 
Parliament. The Sermon was preached by Dr. 
Turner, Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's, from Mat- 
thew X. 16, — " Behold, I send you forth as sheep in 
the midst of wolves;" — after which the members 
adjourned to the 17th of the same month, when Dr. 
Stewart, Dean of Chichester, was appointed Prolo- 
cutor; and his Majesty's Commission, under the 
Great Seal, was produced, authorising the Convoca^ 
tion, thus regularly constituted, to make and ordain 
certain Canons and Constitutions, for the establishing 
of true religion, and the profit of the state of the 
Church of England. Laud was at this time Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, to which Province he had 
been translated in the year 1632;* and there was 
a clause in the Commission, in which it was parti- 
cularly specified, that nothing should be done with- 
out his concurrence, f At the close of the Latin 
speech, which occupied nearly three quarters of an 
hour in the delivery, he dwelt with peculiar empha- 
sis upon the kindness of his Majesty, in granting to 
that Convocation power to alter the old Canons, and 
frame new ones ; a power, which had not been en- 

• Whttelocke's Mem. p. 17. 

t CoUyer's Eccles. Hist p. 793. Fuller's Church Hist, of Britain t 
Bk. xi. § 11, 12, p. 167. 


trosted to the clergy for many years, and which 
shewed, as he observed, what confidence His Majesty 
had in their integrity and ability.* It was also 
intended that many important additions should be 
made to the Book of Common Prayer in this Con- 
vocation, f But an unexpected stop was put to its 
proceedings, by the sudden dissolution of the Par- 
liament, on Wednesday, the 6 th of May. 

According to ancient custom, the Convocation 
should have broken up at the same time; but in 
this instance the rule was not observed, and a new 
Commission was obtained from the Elng, authoriz- 
ing the members to sit, not in the capacity of a 
Convocation, but of a Synod. A select committee 
of twenty-six was now appointed, and this commit- 
tee, with the Prolocutor of the defunct Convocation 
as chairman, firamed a new body of Constitutions 
and Canons, seventeen in number, which were pub- 
lished on the last day of June, but never carried into 
effect, or generally acknowledged as binding upon 
the clergy. J The fourth Canon, which was directed 
" against Socinianism," was as follows. 

" Whereas much mischief is already done in the 
Church of God by the spreading of the damnable 
and cursed Heresie of Socinianism, as being a com- 
plication of many ancient Heresies condemned by the 
four first general Councils^ and contrariant to the 
Articles of Eeligion now established in the Church 

• FuOef^s Church Hist Bk. xi. § 13, p. 168. 

t NeoTa Hist of the Puritans, Vol. II. p. 343. 

t FuOer'B Church Hist. Bk. xi. § 16—19, pp. 168, 169. Constitu- 
tions and Canons Ecclesiastical agreed upon with the Kings Majesties 
License, 1640, p. 37. 

VOL. I. K 


of England. And whereas it is too apparent that the 
said wicked and blasphemous errours are unhappily 
dilated by the frequent divulgation and dispersion 
of dangerous Books, written in favour and ftirther- 
ance of the same, whereby many, especially of the 
younger or unsettled sort of people, may be poisoned 
and infected : It is therefore decreed by this present 
Synod, That no Stationer, Printer, or Importer of 
the said Books, or any other person whatsoever, shall 
print, buy, sell or disperse any Book broaching or 
maintaining of the said abominable Doctrines or 
Positions, upon pain of Excommunication, ipso facto 
to be thereupon incurred : And we require all Ordi- 
naries upon pain of the Censures of the Church, Aat 
beside the Excommunication aforesaid, they do cer- 
tifie their names and offences under their Episcopal 
Seal to the Metropolitan, by him to be delivered to 
his Majesties Attorney-General for the time being, 
to be proceeded withal according to the late Decree 
in the Honourable Court of Star-Chamber, against 
spreaders of prohibited Books. And that no Preacher 
shall presume to vent any such Doctrine in any Ser- 
mon under pain of Excommunication for the first 
offence, and Deprivation for the second. And that 
no Student in cither of the Universities of this Land, 
nor any person in holy Orders, (excepting Graduates 
in Divinity, or such as have Episcopal or Archidia- 
conal Jurisdiction, or Doctors of Law in holy Orders,) 
shall be suffered to have or read any such Socinian 
Book or Discourse, under pain (if the offender live 
in the University) that he shall be punished accord- 
ing to the strictest Statutes provided there against 
the publishing, reading or maintaining of false Doc- 


trine : or if he live in the City or Country abroad, 
of a Suspension for the first offence, and Excommu- 
nication for the second, and Deprivation for the 
third, unless he wiH absolutely and in terminis 
abjure the same. And if any Lay-man shall be 
seduced into this Opinion, and be convicted of it, 
he shall be Excommunicated, and not Absolved but 
upon due repentance and abjuration, and that before 
the Metropolitan, or his own Bishop at the least. 
And we likewise enjoin, that such Books, if they 
be found in any prohibited hand, shall be immedi- 
ately burned : and that there be a diligent search 
made by the appointment of the Ordinary after all 
such Books, in what hands soever, except they be 
now in the hands of any Graduate in Divinity, and 
such as have Episcopal or Archidiaconal Jurisdic- 
tion, or any Doctor of Laws in holy Orders as afore- 
said; and that all who now have them, except 
before excepted, be strictly commanded to bring in 
the said Books in the Universities to the Vicechan- 
cellors, and out of the Universities to the Bishops, 
who shall return them to such whom they dare 
trust with the reading of the said Books, and shall 
cause the rest to be burned. And we farther enjoin, 
that diligent enquiry be made after all such that 
shall maintain and defend the aforesaid Socinianism ; 
and when any such shall be detected, that they be 
complained of to the several Bishops respectively, 
who are required by this Synod to repress them 
from any such propagation of the aforesaid wicked 
and detestable Opinions."* 

* Coostitiitioiis and Canons Ecclesiastical, p]). 19 — 21. 



The Fifth Canon was directed "against Secta^ 
ries," of whom the Anabaptists, Browriists, Separa- 
tists and Familists are mentioned by name, and 
against whom the same penalties were threatened 
as against Popish recusants. 

When this new body of ecclesiastical regulations 
was made public, it excited a general feeling of dis- 
satisfaction throughout the kingdom ;♦ and it was 
contended, that the Synod which framed these regu- 
lations was a body not recognized by the laws of 
England. Specific objections were advanced against 
some of the articles ; and with regard to the Fourth 
it was said, that, "whereas the determination of 
heresy is expressly reserved to Parliament, the Con- 
vocation had declared that to be heresy which the 
law takes no notice of, and had condemned Soci- 
nianism in general, without declaring what was in- 
cluded under that denomination, so that, afl;er all, 
it was left in their own breasts whom they would 
condemn, and censure under that character, "f 

Cheynell says, " I know the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury did pretend to crush this cockatrice of Socu 
nianisme^ but all things being considered, it is to be 
feared that his Canon was ordained for concealing, 
rather than suppressing of Socinianisme ; for he 
desired that none but his own party should be ad- 
mitted to the reading of Socinian books; it was 
made almost impossible for any that were not of his 
party, to take the degree of Batchelour of Divinity 

• Fuller's Church Hist. Bk. xi. § 24, p. 170. 
t Neafs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. D. p. 375. 


(I can say more in that point than another) or at 
least improhahle they should have means to pay a 
groat a sheet for Socinian hooks."* 

ParUament was again summoned for the 3rd of 
Novemher; and on the 14th of December the 
House of Commons took into consideration " the 
new Canons made by the late Convocation." The 
principal speakers on this occasion were Sir Edward 
Deering, Sir Benjamin Rudyard, and the Honour- 
able Nathaniel Fiennes, second son of Lord Say.f 
The last of these alluded to the Canon against Soci- 
nianism in the following terms. " For the Fourth 
Canon against Socinianism, therein also these Canon- 
makers have assumed to themselves a parliament 
power, in determining a heresy not determined by 
law, which is expressly reserved to the determina- 
tion of a Parliament. It is true they say it is a 
complication of many heresies condemned in the four 
first Councils, but they do not say what those heresies 
are, and it is not possible that Socinianism should be 
formally condemned in those Councils, for it sprung 
up but of late. Therefore they have taken upon 
them to determine and damn a heresy, and that so 
generally, as that it may be of very dangerous con- 
sequence. For condemning Socinianism for a heresy, 
and not declaring what is Socinianism, it is left in 
their breasts whom they will judge and call a Soci^ 
nian. I would not have anything that I have said 
to be interpreted as if I had spoken it in favour of 
Socinianism, which, if it be such as I apprehend 

• The Rise, Growth and Danger of Socinianiame, Chap. iv. p. 34. 
t Parliamentary History, IX. 122, apud Mon. Rep. 1815, p. 430, 


it to be, is indeed a most vile and damnable 

On the 15 th of December, the House passed the 
following resolution. "That the clergy, in a Synod 
or Convocation, hath no power to make Laws, Ca- 
nons, or Constitutions, to bind either laity or clergy, 
without the Parliament; and that the Canons, made 
by the late Convocation, are against the fundamen- 
tal laws of this realm, the King's prerogative, pro- 
priety of the subject, the rights of Parliament, and 
do tend to faction, and sedition." They also voted, 
" That a Bill be brought in, to fine those clergy, 
who sate in the late Convocation, and were Actors 
in making those Canons, "f Even Fuller, in his 
"Church History of Britain," J justifies the non- 
observance of these Canons ; and thinks it enough 
to mention their number, and give their titles. 

Sir P. Warwick, in his " Memoires of the Reign 
of King Charles I.," says, under the year 1640,§ 
"the bowing at the name of Jesus hath a book 
written against it with no less a title than ' Jesus- 
Worship confuted.'" He adds, on the authority of 
a gentleman, passing by at the time, that the book 
was " cried in the streets and sold." Who was the 
writer of this tract does not appear. In Dr. Wil- 
liams's Library there is a copy of it, bearing the 
following title. " Jesu- Worship confuted, or. Cer- 
tain Arguments against bowing at the name of 

* Speeches and Passages of this Great and Happy Parliament, from 
the 3rd of Nov., 1640, to this Instant, June 1641, p. 49. Vide Mon. 
Rep. Vol. X. (1815) p. 430. 

t Whitelock€*8 Mem. of Charles I. p. 37. 

X Bk. XL § 19, p. 169. § P. 152. 


Jesus; proving it to be idolatrous and superstitious, 
and so utterly unlawful ; with Objections to the 
Contrary fully answered: by H. B. London, 1660." 
It is a small quarto, consisting of no more than 
eight pages, and might have been written by a 
Unitarian : at least the tract itself contains nothing, 
from which the opposite inference could be fairly 
drawn. It may, however, have been the production 
of some Puritanical writer, who considered the 
practice of bowing at the name of Jesus as a relick 
of Popery. This practice had become very common, 
since the publication of the Authorized Version 
of the Bible, in which the words h rf 6y6fiaTi ^irierov, 
(Philip, ii. 10,) are rendered "at the name of Jesus," 
and not " in the name of Jesus," as they stood in 
the older English Bibles, and the earlier editions of 
the Book of Common Prayer. It was also enjoined 
in the Canons of 1603,* as a mark of reverence 
towards our Lord Jesus Christ, and an acknowledg- 
ment that he is " the true and eternal Son of God.""|" 
Laud had been very particular in enforcing the 
observance of this Canon, especially among the 
clergy; and had caused several Ministers to be 
fined, censured, and even suspended, for the neglect 
of it. But the Puritans very properly protested 
against it, as an act of superstition, because it ap- 
peared to them like worshiping a mere name, or 
at least paying a respect to the name Jesus^ which 
they withheld from that of Christ and Immanuel.X 
In 1641, the Bishops were impeached, and the 

• Canon 18. 

t Constitutiones sive Canones Ecclesiastici, &c. I/)nd. 1604, p. 7. 

X NeaFs Hist of the Puritans, Vol. II. p. 255. 



Court of S tar-Chamber abolished. Events like these 
now followed each other in such rapid succession, 
that some of the Puritans became almost frantic 
with excitement ; and the Socinians, as the Unita- 
rians were then generally called, (the word AHan 
being almost dropped,) were among the first on 
whom they discharged the vials of their wrath. 
The self-styled "Orthodox" party had dealt more 
leniently with these reputed heretics, in the day of 
its power, so as to afford some ground for the sus- 
picion, that its sympathies were with, rather than 
against them. But the scene was now changed; 
and the Unitarians were made to feel, that, what- 
ever security there might be for others, neither 
protection nor toleration would be extended towards 

The Assembly of Divines met on the 1st of July, 
1643, at Westminster, to consult about matters of 
religion,* and continued its sittings till February 
22nd, 1649."|" It consisted of thirty Lay- Assessors, 
among whom were several of the most eminent 
lawyers of the day, and a hundred and twenty-one 
Divines, the majority of whom were men of exem- 
plary piety, and devout lives, though of contracted 
views, and little disposed to enlarge the terms of 
communion. About twenty of them were Episco- 
palians, and seven or eight Independents. The rest 
were, without exception, Presbyterians. J One of 
the most active of the Presbyterian members was 
the Rev. Francis Cheynell, a man of extensive learn- 
ing, and no contemptible abilities, but " troubled," 

• Hears Hist of the Puritans, Vol. III. p. 62. 
t P. 491. t Pp- 64—62. 


as Wood says, " with a weakness in his head, which 
some in his time called craziness;"* and a bitter 
reviler of all who differed from him in opinion, if 
their conduct, however indirectly or remotely, tended 
to advance the progress of liberal opinions in reli- 
gion. Dr. Johnson published an account of this 
singular man, in a work called " The Student ;" 
and commenced his memoir as follows. " There is 
always this advantage in contending with illustrious 
adversaries, that the combatant is equally immor- 
talized by conquest or defeat. He that dies by the 
sword of a hero, will always be mentioned when 
the acts of his enemy are mentioned. The man, of 
whose life the following account is offered to the 
public, was indeed eminent among his own party, 
and had qualities, which, employed in a good cause, 
would have given him some claim to distinction; 
but no one is now so much blinded with bigotry, 
as to imagine him equal either to Hammond or 
Chillingworth ; nor would his memory, perhaps, 
have been preserved, had he not, by being conjoined 
with illustrious names, become the object of public 

curiosity." t 
Cheynell was indefatigable in his opposition to 

Unitarianism, which was now making rapid pro- 
gress in England. He published, in 1643, a work 
on this subject, containing, as we are told,J the 
substance of three or four Sermons, — singular pro- 
ductions, no doubt, of their kind, and such as no 

• Athens Oxonienses, Vol. II. p. 359. 

t The Works of Samuel Johnson LL.D. Lond. 1820. Vol. XII. 
p. 191. 

X Athen. Oxon. ubi supra. 


one, but their busy and eccentric author, would 
have thought of delivermg from a Christian pulpit. 
The title of the work, in its printed form, was as 
follows. " The Rise, Growth and Danger of Soci- 
nianisme : together with a plain Discovery of a des- 
perate Design of corrupting the Protestant Religion, 
whereby it appeares that the Religion which hath 
been so violently contended for (by the Archbishop 
of Canterbury and his Adherents) is not the true 
pure Protestant Religion, but an Hotchpotch of 
Arminianisme, Socinianisme and Popery, &c. : by 
Francis Cheynell late Fellow of Merton College. 
London, 1643." 4to. In the course of this work, 
the author charges not only Laud, but Potter, Hales 
and Chillingworth, with dressing up the aforesaid 
" Hotchpotch ;" and boasts of having shewn, " that 
the Atheists, Anabaptists and Sectaries so much 
complained of" in those times, were ** raised or 
encouraged by the doctrines and practises of the 
Arminian, Socinian and Popish party." 

The work is dedicated " to the Right Honourable 
the Lord Viscount Say and Seale;" and in the course 
of the Dedication, allusion is made to the transla^ 
tion of a Socinian book by one Mr. Webberley, 
which was found in that gentleman's chamber at 
Oxford, and the discovery of which appears to have 
suggested to the reverend author the idea of writing 
a history of the " Rise, Growth and Danger of Soci- 
nianisme."* The Dedicatory Epistle is dated April 
18th, 1643; and at the end of it is the following 
Imprimatur. " It is ordered this eighteenth day of 
Aprill, 1643, by the Committee of the House of 

• Vide Art 276. 


Commons in Parliament concerning printing, that 
this book entitled the Rise, Growth and Danger of 
Socinianisme, &c. be printed. John White.'' The 
title sufficiently explains the object of the writer. 
The work is divided into six Chapters, which treat 
upon the following subjects. "Chap. i. Of the Rise 
of Socinianisme. Chap. ii. Of the Growth of Soci- 
nianisme. Chap. iii. The Danger of Socinianisme. 
Chap. iv. Whether England hath been, or still is 
in danger to be farther infected with Socinianisme. 
Chap. v. Shewes that the famous Atheists (Ana^ 
baptists and Sectaries) so much complained of, have 
been raised, or encouraged by the doctrines and 
practises of the Arminian, Socinian and Popish 
party. Chap. vi. The Religion so violently con- 
tended for by the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
his adherents, is not the true pure Protestant Reli- 

The late Rev. R. Aspland gave an analysis of the 
contents of this curious production, in the "Monthly 
Repository" for 1816,* with occasional extracts 
from it; and the reader, who wishes for further 
information on the subject, and is not able to pro- 
cure a sight of the book itself, which is now exceed- 
ingly scarce, will there find enough to satisfy his 
curiosity, and to convince him, that Dr. Johnson 
was not far from the truth, when he penned the 
following character of its author. " Whatever he 
believed (and the warmth of his imagination natu- 
rally made him precipitate in forming his opinions) 
he thought himself obliged to profess; and what 

• Vol. X. pp. SI— S3. 162—165. 364, 365. 497—500. 



he professed he was ready to defend, without that 
modesty which is always prudent, and generally 
necessary, and which, though it was not agreeable 
to Mr. Cheynel's temper, and therefore readily con- 
demned by him, is a very useful associate to truth, 
and often introduces her by degrees, where she 
never could have forced her way by argument or 

In the year 1644, this ardent and imaginative 
Divine favoured the world with another of his pro- 
ductions, under the following title. " Chillingworthi 
Novissima: or the Sicknesse, Heresy, Death, and 
Buriall of William Chilling worth (In his own phrase) 
Clerk of Oxford, and in the conceit of his Fellow 
Souldiers, the Queens Arch-Engineer, and Grand- 
Intelligencer ; set forth in A Letter to his Eminent 
and learned Friends, a Relation of his Apprehension 
at Arundell, a Discovery of his Errours in a Briefe 
Catechism, and a short Oration at the Buriall of his 
Hereticall Book : by Francis Cheynell, &c. London, 
1644." 4to. Mr. Locke, in a Letter to Anthony 
Collins, Esq., dated Sept. 10th, 1703, calls this " one 
of the most villainous books that was ever printed." 
He had long been desirous of obtaining a sight of 
it, but could nowhere meet with a copy, till his 
friend, Collins, sent him one. In acknowledging 
the receipt of it, he says, " It is a present I highly 
value. I had heard something of it, when a young 
man in the University ; but possibly should never 
have seen this quintessence of railing, but for your 
kindness. It ought to be kept as the pattern and 

• Works, Vol. XII. p. 193. 


Standard of that sort of writing, as the man he spends 
it upon, for that of good temper, and clear and strong 
arguing."* This "viUainous" book of CheyneU's 
was reprinted by John Noon, in 1725, "with an 
Introduction, specifying the dismal eflfects of bigotry 
in all parties," and a motto from the above passage 
of Locke. But for the present we must take our 
leave of Cheynell, and pass on to other subjects. 

About the time of Chillingworth's death, the 
Baptists began to attract considerable notice, and to 
meet together in separate congregations. Entering, 
as was natural, into the leading controversies of the 
day, they formed themselves into two distinct classes ; 
the Gteneral, or Arminian, and the Particular, or 
Calvinistic Baptists. They are said to have had 
forty-seven congregations in the country, and seven 
in London. In their Confession of Faith, consisting 
of fifty-two Articles, which they made public, they 
professed their belief in the doctrine of the Trinity. f 
Yet there were imquestionably Baptists at this time, 
who rejected that doctrine. Homius expressly 
states, that, in the year 1644, at Bath and Bristol, 
these two opinions burst in upon them Uke a glorious 
light : firsts that the human nature of Christ, like 
our own, was corrupted by Original Sin ; and se^ 
condljfy that there is only one person in the Deity. J 
These opinions, we are told, were frequently dis- 
cussed, and extensively propagated, by the Baptists 

• A Collection of Several Pieces of Mr. John Locke^ never before 
printed, or not extant in hia Works ; pp. 262, 263, apud Maizeaux' Life 
of Chillingworth, p. 370. 

t NeaTs Hist of the Puritans, Vol. III. pp. 159—162. 

X Oeo, JTomtV Hist. Eccles. Francof. ad Moen. 1704, p. 642. 


in that part of England.* Homius also mentions 
a certain schismatic, who, on the 27th of February, 
1644, preached, in London, that Christ was no more 
God, than he himself, or any other man was ; " which 
when some pious persons heard," continues the his- 
torian, " fearing lest the house should fall at such 
blasphemies, they hastened to their own homes."f 
The place where this happened, as we learn from 
another source, J was one of the private Churches in 
Bell- Alley. The preacher added, according to Mr. 
Edwards, that, " though Christ was a prophet, and 
did miracles, yet he was not God." A report of this 
address was made to a Parliamentary Committee, 
and attested by three persons who were present at 
its delivery ; and the Rev. Philip Nye, in the course 
of a conversation, which he had upon the subject 
with some Divines, who were then sitting in the 
Assembly at Westminster, said, that to his know- 
ledge the denying of the Divinity of Christ was a 
growing opinion, and that there was a society of 
such persons, which met somewhere about Coleman 
Street, with a Welchman as their chief. Who this 
Welchman was does not appear ; for Thomas Lamb, 
the first Minister of a Baptist Society in that vici- 
nity, was a native of Colchester. § 

Hall^ Bishop of Norwich^ pathetically bewails the 
miserable and distracted state of the English Church 

* Oangrtena : or a Catalogue and Discovery of many of the Errors, 
Heresies, Blasphemies and pernicious Practices of the Sectaries of this 
Time, vented and acted in England in the last four Yeers, &c. by Thonuu 
Edwards Minister of the Gospel. London, 1646, 4to, Pt 1. Letters 
&c. p. 1. 

t Hist. Eccles. p. 638. X Gangrsena. Letters &c. p. 26. 

§ WiUofCs Dissenting Churches, Vol. H. p. 432. 


in those times ; and says, that the minds of Chris- 
tian men were seduced, not only by Papists, Ana- 
baptists, Antinomians and Pelagians, but also, 
through the infernal Socinian heresy, by Antitrini- 
tarians and New Arians ; so that the final destruc- 
tion of Christianity was to be feared.* 

A Presbyterian Minister in Bristol, writing to a 
brother Minister in London, says, "One of the 
greatest rubs in the towne, is the broaching of a 
mad errour, concerning the justification of Saints 
by the essentiall righteousnesse of God, and not by 
Christs obedience, which some do hold, and express 
with a world of vanitie and contempt of Christ."f 
This opinion on the subject of Justification was pro- 
bably first broached by the Baptists. Edwards has 
preserved the copy of a letter, written from Bath 
about the year 1646, by a person advocating similar 
views, whom he calls " a great sectary in those parts." 
How far this letter bears out the charge, that the 
persons holding the above opinion express it " with 
a world of vanitie and contempt of Christ," the 
reader will be able to judge by a perusal of its con- 
tents, which are as follow. 

" Dearly beloved in the Lord Jesus, My dearest 
respects and unexpressable love remembred to you, 
longing to see your face in the flesh, that we might 
be comforted together in the discovery of what the 
Lord hath made known unto us of that great mys- 
tery, God manifest in the flesh : In which is disco- 
vered His everlasting love to the Sons of men, which 

• Hamii Hiat Eccles. p. 580. Bp. HalTs Ircnicum, Sect. 23. 
t Oangnena, Pt ii. p. 116. 


he hath been alwayes discovermg in all Ages, since 
the beginning of the world to this day, but darkly, 
vailedly, hiddenly as it were ; so that all those seve- 
ral wayes of Gods dealing with the Sons of men, 
have been still so many pledges of his love, so that 
God hath not been discovering divers things to the 
Sons of men, but one thing at several times in divers 
manners. Therefore I behold but one thing in all 
the Scriptures, under divers Administrations: So I 
understand the two Covenants to be but two Admi- 
nistrations of one thing ; and that which makes the 
Scriptures Law or Gospel, is our understanding of 
them in either of those two considerations : So tiiat 
Christ Jesus came to witnesse and declare this love 
of God to us, not to procure it for iis : For if Qod 
had at any time any displeasure to us, he had been 
changeable, seeing before the world began, he saw 
us lovely in his Son. Now I conceive Christs com- 
ing, was more like a Conqueror to destroy the enmity 
in our nature, and for to convince us of the Love 
of God to us, by destroying in our nature, that we 
thought stood between God and us, according to 
that of the Apostle, Heb. 2. ' For as much as the 
Children were partakers of flesh and blood, he like- 
wise took part of the same,' To what endl 'To 
destroy him who had the power of death :' Who is 
that ? ' The Divel :' Why so ? 'To deliver them 
who through fear of death were all their life time 
subject to bondage :' So that we being in bondage, 
his coming was to deliver us, not to procure the love 
of God^ to us^ or satisfy him^ as some say : He was 
as I may so say, a most glorious publisher of the 
Gospel, as he himself saith, ' He was sent to preach 


iie Grospel, to heal the broken hearted, to preach 
leliyerance to the captives, to set at liberty them 
hat are bruised/ Luke 14. 18, 19. All that which 
Clhrist here saith to be the end of his coming, is not 
I ward mentioned of any thing done by him in way of 
latisfying God. Again, Job. 18. 37, Jesus saith 
» Pilate, 'To this end was I bom, and for this 
3anse came I into the world,' namely, ' to bear wit- 
lesse to the truth.' Oh me thinks how ignorant 
k) this day is the world of the end of Christs coming! 
nrhich makes them so dark in understanding what 
Christ is : people look upon him so to be God, as 
aot at all to be man : whereas I am of the minde, 
he was very man of the same nature with tis : for 
otherwise it would be no encouragement to us, to 
50 to the Father upon the same ground that Christ 
is entred, if he was of a more holier nature then 
as; but in this appears Gods love to us, that he 
vrould take one of us in the same condition, to con* 
dnce us of what he is to us, and hath made us to 
be in him: That now we are to stand still and 
behold the glory of God come forth, and brought to 
light by the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who hath abolished death, and brought life and 
mmortality to light : Therefore he saith, I will de- 
clare thy name to my brethren. O then let us 
behold Christ Jesus in all that he is to be the re- 
presentation of God to us, in which same glory, 
Grod hath and ever will behold us; which the more 
we behold, we shall see our selves changed into the 
same Image from glory to glory. Me thinks the 
beholding of Christ to be holy in the flesh, is a dis- 
honour to God, in that we should conceive holinesse 

VOL. I. L 


out of God, which is to make another God. Again 
it would be a dishonour to Christ, in that he would 
be but fleshly: And again, a discomfort to the 
Saints, in that he should be of a more holier nature 
then they, as being no ground for them to come 
near with boldnease to God ; Again, it is to make 
the body of Christ a monster, the Head of one naturty 
the body of another. Now to conceive all fiiluesse of 
holinesse in God, and that Christ is and ever was, 
and the Saints in him, beheld holy, righteouB, and 
unblameable, as thet are and ever were, beheld in 
the Spirit in union with God, having their being in 
him : and so its said, the fulnesse of God dwelt in 
Christ, and ye are compleat in him, one God, and 
Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in 
you all."* 

The work, in which the above letter is preserved, 
was printed in London, A.D. 1646. The author 
professes to confine himself to the exposure, and 
refutation of opinions, which were currently be- 
lieved, when his book was published, all of which 
had been broached, as he affirms, within the four 
preceding years, and most of them within two years, 
or less.f He dwells particularly upon the mixed 
character of the existing sects ; and says, that seve- 
ral are compounded of many, and some of all. Even 
among the Independents, or "Dissenting Brethren" 
as they were called in the palmy days of Presbyte- 
rianism, he seems to think, that there was no such 
thing as a strictly Independent Church, or even an 
individual professor, who did not symbolize, more 

• Oangrana, PL i. Letter*, &c. pp. 7—9. t Pt. i. p. 1. 


or less, with other sects.* " 'Tis remarkable," says 
he, "that now for present the best Independent 
Churches and C!ongregations are mixed Assemblies 
and medUes, consistmg of persons whereof some are 
Anabaptists, some Antinomians, some Libertines, 
others hold Arminian and Socinian Tenets. — ^Mr. 
Symonds Independent Church at Roterdam is over- 
growne with Anabaptisme, and he hath written 
into England that he is so pestered with Anabap- 
tists, that he knew not what to do ; Mr. Sympsons 
Church hath bred divers Seekers, Mr. Lockiers 
Antinomians, Master John Goodwins company is 
an unclean Conventicle, where the spirit of Errour 
and pride prevails m most, the unclean spirit being 
entred there into himself and his people with seven 
evill spirits, Socinian^ Arminian, Popish, Anabap- 
tisticall. Libertine Tenets being held by himself 
and many of his people, "f Nor was this kind of 
syncretism confined to one part of the kingdom. 
It extended to all parts; but prevailed most in 
Middlesex, and the adjoining counties.^ It per- 
Taded the army also : and whenever a city or town 
was taken, during the Civil Wars, the soldiers in- 
variably introduced some new opinions among the 
inhabitants, so that every deliverance, and every 
rictory were made the means of spreading the con- 

Edwards has been at the pains of drawing up a 
Catalogue of the opinions which obtained currency, 
during the four years to which he confines himself. 
In the First Part of his " Gangrsena," he has enu- 

• P. 13. t Pt. ii. p. 13. 

X Pt i. p. 2. § Pt ii. p. 80. 




merated no fewer than 176 " Errours, Heresies and 
Blasphemies;"* and as his work advanced, this 
Catalogue was augmented. But some of the opi- 
nions, to which he has given these hard names, fre- 
quently pass current as orthodox in our own times; 
and even over those which do not, the legislature, 
by a wise and judicious policy, now extends the 
shield of its protection. 

The following are probably a fair specimen of 
those, to which, in the reign of Charles I., the epi- 
thet " Socinian" would have been applied ; although 
several of them are far from being in accordance 
with the real opinions of Socinus, and his followers. 
100. That in points of religion, even in the Ar- 
ticles of faith, and principles of religion, there is 
nothing certainly to be believed and built on, except 
that all men ought to have liberty of conscience, 
and liberty of prophesying. 148. That Christian 
Magistrates have no power at all to meddle in mat- 
ters of religion, or things ecclesiastical, but in civil 
aflfairs only, concerning the bodies and goods of men. 
158. That it is uiila>vful for Christians to defend 
reUgion with the sword, or to fight for it when men 
come with the sword to take it away ; because reli- 
gion will defend itself. 142. That a few private 
Christians, (as six or seven gathering themselves 
into a covenant, and Church fellowship,) have an 
absolute, entire power of the keys, and all govern- 
ment within themselves; and are not under any 
authoritative power of any Classes, Synods, or Gene- 
ral Coimcils, whatever they do, or whatever plans 

• Pt. i, pp. 16—31. 



they adopt. 8. That right reason is the rule of 
faith, and that we are to believe the Scriptures, and 
the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the 
Resurrection, so far as we see them to be agreeable 
to reason, and no further. 24. That in the Unity 
of the Grodhead there is not a Trinity of Persons ; 
and that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Popish 
tradition, and a doctrine of Kome. 25. That 
there are not three distinct Persons in the divine 
essence, but only three offices ; and that the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost are not Persons, but Offices. 
26. That there is but one Person in the divine 
nature. 27. That Jesus Christ is not very God, 
or God essentially, but nominally only ; and that he 
is not the eternal Son of God by eternal generation, 
and may no otherwise be called the Son of God but 
as he was man. 28. That Christ's human nature 
is defiled with Original Sin as well as ours. 31. 
That he died for all men alike ; for the reprobate 
as well as the elect, and that not only sufficiently 
but eflFectually ; for Judas as well as Peter ; for the 
damned in hell, as well as for the saints in heaven. 
34. That he died only for sins past, (that is, be- 
fore the Gospel is revealed to the sinner,) and not 
for sins committed after conversion, since they are 
pardoned by his being a continual sacrifice. 39. 
That Christ did not by his death purchase life and 
salvation for all, or even for the elect ; because it 
was not the end of God, in the coming of Christ, to 
purchase love and life ; but Christ himself was pur- 
chased by love, that he might make out love, and 
purchase us to love. 40. That Christ Jesus came 
into the world to declare the love of God to us, not 


to procure it for us, or, as some say, to satisfy Gtxl; 
because in all that Christ said about the end of his 
coining, there is not a word mentioned of anything 
done by him in the way of satisfying God. 47. 
That Christ, by his death, freed all men from a tem- 
poral death, (which Adam's sin only deserved,) by 
purchasing them a resurrection, and that he has 
opened to them a way to come to the Father, if they 
will : that he died for all thus fex, but no further 
for any. 56. That Adam, even though he had 
remained in a state of innocence, and not fallen, 
would have died a natural death, because death is 
now not a fruit of sin to believers. 66. That 
God's image is on every man, the bad as well as 
the good. 67. That Adam, and mankind in him, 
lost not the image of God by his fell, but only in- 
curred a temporal, or corporeal death, which was 
suspended for a time on the promise of a Saviour. 
68. That there is no Original Sin in us ; and that 
Adam's first sin is the only Origmal Sin. 69. That 
the guilt of Adam's sin is imputed to no man ; and 
that no man is punished for Adam's sin. 37. That 
the Heathen, who never heard of Christ by the 
Word, have the Gospel ; because all creatures, as 
the sun, moon and stars, preach the Gospel to men, 
and in them is revealed the knowledge of Christ 
crucified, and sin pardoned, if they had eyes to 
see it. 38. That the Heathen who perish, perish 
only for not believing according to the Gt)spel tliey 
enjoy. 45. That the Heathen are saved, if they 
serve God according to the knowledge that God hath 
given them, though they never heard of Christ. 
165. That it could not stand with the goodness 


of Grod, to damn his creatures eternally. 167. That 
there will be a general restoration, in which all men 
will be reconciled to God, aad saved ; but that those 
who now believe, and are saints, before this restora- 
tion, will be in a higher condition than those who 
do not believe, 176. That it is not consistent with 
the character of God, to pick and choose among 
men in shewing mercy ; that if the love of God be 
manifested to a few, it is far from being infinite, 
unless he shew mercy to all ; and that to ascribe 
this selection to his will or pleasure, is to blaspheme 
his excellent name and nature. 

Among the persons professing these, and similar 
opinions, or some of them, Paul Best, William 
Erbury, and one Hawes, stand conspicuous. The 
accounts, which the author of " Gangraena" gives of 
these men,* ought perhaps to be taken with some 
grains of allowance ; for Thomas Edwards, the author 
of that strange medley, was a credulous person, and 
was doubtless occasionally imposed upon by the cor- 
respondents aad emissaries, to whom he was chiefly 
indebted for the information which his book con- 

A reply to the First Part of "Gangraena" was 
published by the Kev. John Goodwin, under the 
title of " Cretensis : or a Brief Answer to an Ulcerous 
Treatise ;" the object of which, as the word " Cre- 
tensis" indicates, was to shew, that Mr. Edwards 
sometimes recorded as facts the lying reports of the 
day, and that his book was not to be depended upon, 
as a faithM narrative of passing events. Other 

• Vide Art. 277—279. 



replies were published by Mr. Jeremiah Burroughes, 
Mr. Saltmarsh, Mr. Walwyn, Mr. Bacon, and Tho- 
mas Webbe. The title of Webbe's pamphlet, which 
deserves notice on accoimt of its quaintness, was as 
follows. "Mr. Edwards Pen no slander: or, the 
Gangrsena once more searched : which being found 
very full of corrupt matter, that part of his foul 
mouth is seringed, and washed with a moderate 
Answer, given by Thomas Web, to that part of his 
book, whferein Mr. Edwards chargeth him for deli- 
vering severall Antinomian Doctrines. In which 
Answer is proved, that many things wherewith Mr. 
Edwards chargeth him, is false. Also, that Mr. 
Edwards charging any in such a nature is contrary 
to rule, and against all examples in Scripture, and 
tends unto division in these distracting times. By 
Thomas Webbe. 1 Cor. 16. 14.— 2 Cor. 13. 8.— 
Ephes. 4. 31, 32. London, 1646." 4to. Pp. 14. The 
author of " Gangreena" had charged Webbe with 
saying, that a saint may say he is equal with Christ, 
and count it no robbery. "I could wish," says 
Webbe in reply, " with aU my heart, that he would 
(if it had been an errour) have done Grod so much 
service as to have disproved it ; I was speaking out 
of John 17. 22. The words are these; *The glory 
which thou gavest me I have given them, that they 
may be one, even as thou Father and I are one.' 
From these words, after some time spent, in shewing 
what this glory was in general, I came to the par- 
ticulars, or drawing of it out in branches ; and the 
first was, ' God's love the same to Saints as to Christ ;' 
which I proved by many testimonies, which now I 
shall not name: but there being amongst many 


Scriptures, one very pertinent to the same thing, I 
named it; which is Vers, 23, *Thou hast loved 
ihem as thou hast loved me/"* Another charge, 
which Mr. Edwards had brought against Webbe, 
was, that in the course of conversation with an 
honest Christian in Colchester, he had denied that 
it was lawful to say, " God the Father, God the Son, 
and God the Holy Ghost," for then there were three 
Gods; and on being asked whether this was his 
own opinion, or whether he said it merely for argu- 
ment's sake, he was silent. Webbe denies that he 
ever gave utterance to such a sentiment ; and says, 
" I truly believe God the Father, God the Sonne, 
and God the Holy Ghost, and yet but one, taking 
the said God (that is the Father) to be both Sonne 
and Holy Ghost, "f To this Mr. Edwards replies, 
that "wee are taught from the Scriptures by all 
Orthodox Divines, that though everie Person be 
Gt)d, as the Father is God, the Son is God, and the 
Holy Ghost is God ; yet the Father is not the Son, 
nor the Father is not the Holy Ghost ; nor the Son 
the Father, nor the Holy Ghost. "J But he still 
persists in the original charge, of which he says that 
he " can produce good proof;" adding, " If a Com- 
mittee of Parliament shall be pleased to take notice 
of it, and send for this Web, and proceed against 
him upon proof, I am ready to produce witnesses, 
and upon his owne confession and those witnesses 
to make proofe."§ To believe too much, and upon 
too easy terms, was the infirmity of the author of 
" Grangreena ;" yet, when every allowance is made 

• P. 7. t Pp. 7, S. 

} Gangrsna, Pt. ii. pp. 114, 115. § P. 114. 


for the exaggeration which pervades that curioiis 
work, there is, it must be admitted, a sufficient 
degree of truth in it to justify the conclusion, that 
Antitrinitarianism had advanced with rapid strides 
in England, since the burning of Legate and Wight- 
man, in the reign of James the First. 

In a Postscript, the author adds, as coming ^^from 
good hands, — four other errors, not before named," 
in order to ^^ make up the hundred and seventy-six, 
just a hundred and fourscore." These are as follow. 

" 1. That the form by which men baptize, viz. 
* I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost,' is a form of man's devising, 
a tradition of man, and not a form left by Christ. 

2. That those Scriptures of Mat. 20. 19. Mark 
16. 15, ^Go and teach all nations, baptizing them,' 
are not understood of baptizing with water, but of 
the Spirit's baptizing, or the baptism of the Holy 
Ghost ; and that the baptism of Christ by water 
was only in the name of Jesus Christ, not of the 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as is now practLsed. 

3. That the Gospel doth not more set its spirit 
against anything of Antichrist, than against this 
point of external uniformity in the worship of GKxi; 
and that uniformity is Antichristian ; and unifor- 
mity is the mystery of iniquity ; 'Tis the burden of 
the Saints, the bondage of the Church, the straight- 
ening of the Spirit, the limiting of Christ, and the 
eclipsing the glory of the Father. 4. Christ hath 
not promised his presence and spirit to Ministers 
more than to other believers, nor more to a hundred 
than to two or three ; and if two or three in the 
country, being met together in the name of Christ, 


have Christ himself with his Word and Spirit among 
them, they need not ride many miles to the Assem- 
hly at London, to know what to do, or how to carry 
and behaye themselves in the things of God : And 
therefore for any company of men of what repute 
soever, to set up their own judgement in a kingdom 
for a peremptory rule from which no man must 
vary, and to compel all the &ithful people of God 
to fell down before it, &c. is a far worse work than 
that of King Nebuchadnezzar setting up a golden 
image, and forcing all to fell before it, seeing spiri- 
tual idolatry is so much worse than corporal, as the 
spirit is better than the flesh. The Spiritual Church 
is taught by the anointing, the Carnal Church by 

We have, in an Appendix to the third edition 
of " Gtmgraena," a further Catalogue of Errors and 
Heresies, sent up to town by " a godly Minister in 
Somersetshire, to be communicated to some Divines 
of the Assembly," and printed verbatim from the 
writer's manuscript. This Catalogue is entiUed, 
" New Lights, and glorious, pure Truths, (or rather 
old Heresies, and blasphemous Doctrines of Devils,) 
held forth by the bespotted Churches of Independ^ 
ents in these parts." The locality here meant, as 
we are told in a note, is "Somersetshire." The 
"New Lights, and glorious, pure Truths" are twelve 
in number ; and the fourth and fifth, which are by 
no means the most heretical, are thus expressed. 
"4. That Christ's human nature is not hypostati- 
cally united to the divine nature, for these Churches 

• Oangrflena, Part L P. S. pp. 104, 105. 


do not confess Christ to he God; nay, they earnestly 
deny his Grodhead, and affirm the Creed of Athana- 
sius to be full of blasphemies. 5. They deny the 
Trinity of persons in the deity ^ and affirm that there 
is but one person in the Godhead : for if there be 
three persons, there must needs be three Gods, and 
that Athanasius in his Creed doth blaspheme."* 

As these doctrines diflFer so widely from those of 
the modem Independents, it is but justice to that 
religious body, to point out the cause of the differ- 
ence, and the manner in which it originated. 

Those, who advocate the congregational form of 
Church Government, date their origin, as a sect, 
from Robert Brown, a clergyman of the reign of 
Elizabeth, whose followers received the name of 
Brownists. Many of them emigrated, with their 
leader, to Holland : but after residing a short time 
at Middleburgh, they began to quarrel, and broke 
up into parties ; so that Brown himself, imable any 
longer to retain his control over them, returned 
to England in 1585, and left them to settle their 
disputes among themselves.^ About seven years 
after the return of Brown, several of those who had 
remained in England were banished, and joined 
their exiled brethren in Holland. In the year 1596, 
they published a Confession of Faith, in the second 
Article of which they explicitly declared their belief 
in the doctrine of the Trinity.J On the accession 

♦ Pt.i. App. pp. 110,111. 

t WiUon^s Dissenting Churches, Vol. I. pp. 14 — 16. 

X An Apologie or Defence of ^uch true Christians as are commonly, 
(but vnjustly) called BroTmists: Against such Imputations as are 
layd vpon them by the Heads and Doctors of the Vniversity of Oxford, 
&c, 1604, 4to, p. 14. 



of James I, they petitioned that monarch, at three 
separate times, for permission to reside in England, 
and worship God in their own way, without moles- 
tation ; calling his Majesty's attention both to the 
doctrine and discipline, by which their Churches 
were distinguished. But the prayer of their peti- 
tions was not granted. In the mean time, they 
increased greatly in numbers, both in England and 
Holland. Many of them emigrated from England 
to America, while others remained behind, and 
endured grievous persecutions at home.* At the 
commencement of the Long Parliament, the yoke 
under which they had so longed groaned was bro- 
ken ; and they enjoyed more liberty than they had 
done, from the time in which they began to exist, 
as a separate religious body. This we learn from 
a small pamphlet published in London, A.D. 1643, 
and entitled, " Certaine Considerations to disswade 
Men from fVrther gathering of Churches in this 
present Juncture of Time: subscribed by diverse 
Divines of the Assembly, hereafter mentioned." As 
the names appended to this document may be in- 
teresting to some readers, they are here subjoined ; 
and, for the sake of distinction, those of " the Dis- 
senting Brethren," or Independent Divines, who 
were honoured with seats in the Westminster As- 
sembly, are printed in Italics. 

William Twisse. 
Thomas Goodwin. 
John White. 
Oliver Bowles. 

William Carter. 
Herbert Palmer. 
Sidrach Simpson. 
William Greenhill. 

• Ibid. pp. 35. 81. 



Stephen Marshall. 
Phillip Nye. 
Charles Herle. 
Anthony Tuckney. 
Jo. Arrowsmith. 
William Bridge. 
Thomas Young. 

Jer. Burroughes. 
Richard Heyricke. 
Joseph CanilL 
Thomas Hill. 
Thomas Wilson. 
Jer. Whitakers. 

In the works published about this time, a dis- 
tinction is sometimes made between Independency 
and Brownism.* The Brownists generally denied, 
that the Church of England was a true Church; 
but the less rigid Congregationalists, who took the 
name of Independents^ opposed this view. The first 
who is known to have done this in print was the 
Rev. Henry Jacob, who published, in 1599, "A 
Defence of the Churches and Ministery of England : 
written in two Treatises against the Reasons and 
Objections of Mr. Francis Johnson, and others of 
the Separation commonly called Brownists: pub- 
lished especially, for the Benefit of those in these 
Parts of the Low Countries. Middleburgh. By 
Richard Schilders, Printer to the States of Zealand." 
To this "Defence" a reply was published in the 
year following, entitled, " An Answer to Maister 
H. Jacob his Defence of the Churches and Minis- 
tery of England : by Francis Johnson, an Exile of 
Jesus Christ." But the Rev. John Robinson is ge- 
nerally regarded as the father of the Independents. 
He advised his followers to shake off the name of 

• Gangrsena, Pt L p. 13. Letters, &c. p. 27. The Opening of 
Master Prynnes new Book, called A Vindication : or, Light breaking 
out from a Cloud of Differences, or late Controversies, &c. London, 
1645, 4to, p. 1. 


Brawnists^ and struck out a middle way between 
the Brownists and the Presbyterians;* and Mr. 
Jacob, who visited him at Leyden about 1609 or 
1610, adopted his opinions respecting Church Go- 
vernment, which have since been known by the 
name of Independency. -f 

The substance of the following draught of the 
constitution of an Independent Church, at the be- 
ginning of the Long Parliament, is borrowed from 
" The Second Part of the Duply to M.S., alias Two 
Brethren, &c. with a brief Epitome and BefutaF 
tion of all the whole Independent Government : by 
Adam Steuart. London, 1644." 4to. J The breadth 
of the basis upon which it rests is honourable to 
the religious body from whom it emanated, and not- 
withstanding the narrowness of the terms of com- 
munion, it wiU bear a comparison, as regards the 
doctrinal latitude which it allows, and its unqualified 
recognition of the right of free inquiry, with any 
system of Church Government in Christendom ; nor 
does it redound to the credit of the Independents in 
later times, that they have departed from a model 
so Catholic and admirable. 

The Independent Church is so called, because no 
particular congregation, whatever may be its doc- 
trinal sentiments, will recognize the authority, or 
submit to the government of any other Church, or 
of all other Churches put together, however ortho- 
dox, or holy those Churches may be. It is called 
Coetus PideltMm^ a company of believers, meeting 
in one place every Lord's-day, for the administration 

• W3i(m'$ Dissenting Churches, Vol. I. pp. 30—36. 
t P. 38. X Pp. 191—194. 


of the holy ordmances of Grod, to public edification. 
It is held necessary to the constitution of a Church, 
and of every individual member, that they all join 
together in a particular ChMrch^avenant, in which 
they all pledge themselves to live in the faith, and 
in subjection to all the ordinances of God, cleaving 
one to another, as members of one body, and not 
departing from the particular Church of which they 
become members, without the consent of that Church. 
The antecedents of this covenant are, first, sundry 
meetings together of such as are to join it, till they 
have sufficient proof and trial of each other*8 spi- 
ritual state : secondly, the civil magistrate's consent 
to set up their Church: thirdly, the consent of 
neighbour Churches: fourthly, the ordaining of a 
solemn fast, accompanied by prayers and sermons, 
after which one, in the name of all the rest, pro- 
pounds the covenant : and fifthly, a joint taking of 
the covenant. The consequents of it are, first, the 
right hand of fellowship, which is given them by 
the neighbour Churches: secondly, an exhortation 
to those who join in covenant to stand fast in the 
Lord: and thirdly, a prayer to God for pardon of 
their sins, and acceptance of the people. The ^nal 
cause of their Church they profess to be, first, to 
God's glory : secondly, the salvation of the Church, 
and of each individual member: and thirdly, the 
internal and external acts of mutual communion in 
faith and charity. The matter of their Church they 
hold to be such persons as can give some particular 
evidence of saving grace, and of their election, and 
such as enter into Church-covenant together. They 
will not admit to the Lord's table the members of 


other Churches, whether Independents or not ; nor 
will they baptize their children, on a recommenda^ 
tion from other Churches. The integrant parts of 
this Church are the flock, or people, and the rulers, 
consisting of Preachers, Teachers, Ruling Elders 
and Deacons. The form of their Church seems to 
consist in their Church-covenant. The accidents of 
it are, first, the number, which cannot be less than 
seven persons, or more than can conveniently meet 
in one place, for the administration of the holy ordi- 
nances of Grod : secondly, their doctrine, which may 
be Arminian, as was the case with the Eev. John 
Goodwin : thirdly, the entire absence of any com- 
mon Confession of Faith, or platform of discipline 
in their Churches: fourthly, the power to teach, 
which is granted not only to Preachers, but to Ruling 
Elders, and some of the people: and fifthly, the 
power of the keys, which is put into the hands of 
the people, who have power to create their own 
Ministers, to examine their doctrine and sufficiency, 
and afterwards to admit them to the ministerial 
charge. They hold the object of excommunication 
only to be errors of the mind against the common, 
and uncontroverted principles of Christianity ; and 
errors of the will, against its common, and universal 
practice: and both these kinds of error must be 
entertained against the known light of the parties, 
l>efi9Te sentence of excommunication can be pro- 
noanced. Lastly, they believe that the civil magis- 


Some of those Congregationalists who had left 
3Rng1and, and formed societies, on their own prin- 

TOL. I. M 



ciples, in Holland, returned about the commence- 
ment of the Civil War ; and five of them happened 
to be chosen members of the Assembly of Divines 
at Westminster. They were Dr. Thomas Groodwin, 
Sidrach Simpson, Philip Nye, Jeremiah Burroughs 
and William Bridge ; ♦ and as the rest of the Assem- 
bly, with two exceptions, was compoBed entirely of 
Presbyterians and Episcopalians, these seven were 
distinguished by the name of " the Dissenting Bre- 
thren." The two exceptions referred to were Wil. 
liam Greenhill and William Carter, who made up 
the number to seven. To these seven, who belonged 
to the Assembly from the first, was afterwards added 
John Dury, who was appointed to fill up a vacancy.f 
In 1643, when the Assembly had sat about six 
months, the seven Dissenting Brethren, in conjunc- 
tion with thirteen other Ministers belonging to 
the moderate Presbyterian party, and Dr. William 
Twisse, the Prolocutor of the Assembly, circulated 
the pamphlet above alluded to, and entitled " Cer- 
tain Considerations, &c.," the object of which was 
to dissuade both Ministers and people throughout 
the kingdom from forming themselves into Church 
societies, till they should see what turn matters 
would take in the Assembly. The five, who had 

• NeaTa HisL of the Puritans, Vol. III. p. 144. 

t The Grand Debate concerning Presbitery and Independencj by 
the Assembly of Divines convened at Westiainster by Authority of 
Parliament, containing, First, the Assemblies Propositions, (with the 
Proof of them from Scripture,) concerning the Presbiteriall Government : 
Secondly, the Dissenting Brethrens Reasons against the said Propo- 
sitions: Thirdly, the Answer of the Assemblies to those Reasoot of 
Dissent : examined and perused by Jer. Whitaker — Tha Goodwin : by 
Order of Parliament A.D. 1652, pp. 40. 85. 132. 192. NeaTa Hist 
of the Puritans, Vol. III. pp. 276. 304. 


been living as exiles in Holland, also put forth, 
during the same year, " An Apologetical Narration 
submitted to the Honourable Houses of Parliament," 
and signed by themselves alone,* in which they 
professed their agreement on doctrinal matters with 
the Articles of the Church of England, and other 
Reformed Churches; explained the principles, on 
which they and their friends wished to form them- 
selves into separate religious societies; and entreated, 
that, out of regard to their past exile, and present 
sufferings, they might be allowed to continue in 
their native coimtry, with the enjoyment of the ordi- 
nances of Christ, and an indulgence in some minor 
differences, as long as they continued peaceable 
subjects.^ The public position occupied by them 
at this particular juncture, gave them a degree of 
influence among the members of the Independent 
body, which they would probably not otherwise have 
acquired; and though there were Arminian, and 
even Antitrinitarian societies among the Congregju 
tional Churches, which had grown up in England 
during their absence, this "Apologetical Narration" 
was, for obvious reasons, regarded as a kind of mani- 
fissto, and served afterwards as a rallying point to 
the Calvinistic Independents, who ultimately ab- 
sorbed all the other Congregationalist Churches into 
their own body. In the year 1658, they drew up 
a Confession of Faith, usually known by the name 
of " the Savoy Confession," which agrees, in all its 
main doctrinal points, with " the Westminster Con- 
fession." A most extraordinary unanimity is said 

• Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 504. 
t NeaPs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. III. pp. 141—144. 

M 2 



to have pervaded the body who composed this Con- 
fession; but "some," says Neal, "imputed their 
unanimity to the authority and influence of Dr, 
Owen, Mr. Nye, and the rest of the elder divines 
over the younger."* By such means as these, the 
progress of inquiry was checked among the Inde- 
pendents : and their Churches, instead of becoming, 
as once appeared probable, centres of imion for the 
advocates of religious freedom, were converted into 
so many close corporations, whose principal bond of 
union seemed to be, the suppression of every effort 
to transgress the limits, marked out by the Dissenting 
Brethren of the Westminster Assembly, — to wit, 
the doctrinal Articles of the Church of England. 

It must nevertheless be admitted, that the Inde- 
pendents, orthodox as well as heterodox, in the 
great struggle, which took place during the sitting 
of the Long Parliament, acted upon more enlarged 
views of the nature and extent of religious liberty, 
than any other body of Christians throughout the 
kingdom. While Edwards, in his "Gangraena," 
was railing against "Toleration" with all the ftiry of 
a mamac,f and the Presbyterians generally were peti- 
tioning for the suppression of all separate Churches, 
" the very nursery," as they were styled, " of dam- 
nable heretics," J the Independents were straining 
every nerve to secure a general toleration, which 
should include, not only themselves and the Baptists, 
but all who agreed in " the Fundamentals of Chris- 

• Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. IV. p. 189. 

t Pt i. Letters, &c. p. 42. Pt. ii. pp. 67, 68. 85. 

X NeaVs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. IH. pp. 326—328. 364. 


tianity."* It is true, as Neal says, " when they 
came to enumerate Fundamentals they were sadly 
mtangled,""}' as who is not ? But there were per- 
sons of the Independent persuasion, in those times, 
who pleaded, with an earnestness and a zeal which 
cannot be too highly commended, in behalf of an 
unrestricted toleration. Such a man was John 
Gk)odwin, who introduced the English translation 
of Acontius's " Stratagems of Satan " to the notice 
of the reader, with the fearless avowal of the fol- 
lowing noble sentiments. " In vain do they blow 
a trumpet to prepare the Magistrate to battle against 
Errors and Heresies, whilest they leave the judg- 
ments and consciences of men armed with confi- 
dence of truth in them. If men would call more 
for light, and less for fire from heaven, their warfare 
against such enemies would be much sooner accom- 
plished. For he that denied the one, hath promised 
the other. (Prov. 2. 3, 4, 5. Jam. 1. 5.) And 
amongst all weapons, there is none like unto light 
to fight against darkness. But whilest men arm 
themselves against Satan, with the material sword, 
they do but insure his victory and triumph." 

But the Presbyterian party was too strong, both 
in Parliament and in the Assembly, for the other 
Sects, into which Ithe nation was at this time divided; 
and till the establishment of the Commonwealth, 
when the Independents greatly increased their in- 
fluence, Presbyterian counsels prevailed. By two 
Ordinances, dated Oct. 9th, and Nov. 16th, 1646, 
respectively, Episcopacy was abolished, and the re- 

• Gangr»na, Pt i. p. 12. Pt. ii. pp. 62. 64. 
t Vol. III. pp. 311, 312. 


venues arising from the different sees were alienated, 
for the purpose of paying the public debts.* Pro- 
vinces were substituted for Dioceses. Every parish 
had a Congregational, or Parochial Presbytery, for 
the management of parish affairs. The Parochial 
Presbyteries were directed to form themselves into 
Classes; the Classes to choose representatives to 
the Provincial, and the Provincial to the National 
Assembly. This plan was carried out in London 
and Lancashire, but in no other part of Englandif 
The Presbyterian Ministers, however, had their 
voluntary associations for Church affairs in most 
counties, though without any authoritative jurisdic- 

In addition to the Provincial Assembly, the Lon- 
don clergy held weekly meetings at Sion College, 
to consult about Church affairs ; and at one of these 
meetings "they agreed," says Neal,§ ^* since they 
could do nothing more^ to bear their public testi- 
mony against the errors of the times ; and accord- 
ingly they published a treatise, entitled, ' A Testi- 
mony to the Truth of Jesus Christ, and to our 
Solemn League and Covenant ; as also, against the 
Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies of these Times, 
and the Toleration of them ; to which is added, A 
Catalogue of the said Errors, &c.' dated from Sion 
College, Dec. 14, 1647, and subscribed by Fifty- 
leight of the most eminent Pastors in London, of 
whom Seventeen were of the Assembly of Divines." 

• NeaTs Hist of the Puritans, Vol. III. pp. 361, 362. 

t Pp. 331—335. 495. Men. Repos. Vol. XXI. pp. 475—478. 

X NeaVs Hist. Vol. III. p. 335. 

S VoL m. p. 388. 


In their first Article, "touching matters of doctrine, 
they declare their assent to the Westminster Assem- 
bly's Confession of Faith, and heartily desire it may 
receive the sanction of authority, as the joint Con- 
fession of Faith of the three Kingdoms, in pursuance 
of the Covenant." As regards Errors and Heresies, 
they declare their detestation and abhorrence of the 
following among others. " That there is not a Tri- 
nity of persons in the Godhead ; that the Son is not 
co-equal with the Father; and that the Holy Ghost 
is only a ministering spirit : that God has not elect- 
ed some to salvation from eternity, and rejected and 
reprobated others ; and that no man shall perish in 
hell for Adam's sin : that Christ died for the sins of 
all mankind ; that the benefits of his death were in- 
tended for all; and that natural men may do such 
things as whereunto God has, by way of promise, 
annexed grace and acceptation: that man hath a 
firee will and power of himself to repent, to believe, 
to obey the Gospel, and do everything that God 
requires to salvation." The last error, against which 
they bear their testimony, and in condemning which 
they unaninumsljf concur, is called " the error of To^ 
leratiofij patronizing and promoting all other errors, 
heresies and blasphemies whatsoever, under the 
grossly abused notion of liberty of conscience.''* 

The views of the Parliament respecting " the 
error of Toleration " were nearly akin to those of 
the Presbyterian Divines of London. On the 27th 
of May, 1646, an order was made by the House of 
Commons, to revive a Committee, which had for- 

• NeoTs Hist. Vol. III. pp. 3S8--390. 


merly sat, for the purpose of examining into the 
mode, in which heresies were divulged and main- 
tained ;♦ and on the 27th of February, 1647, after 
the sermons at the monthly fast, the House met, 
and ordered a general fast-day throughout the king- 
dom, to beseech God, that he would root out heresy 
and blasphemy.^ 

It was about this time, that John Biddle,J who has 
been styled " the father of English Unitarianism," 
began to attract public attention, by his writings on 
the subject of the Trinity. Thomas Lushington 
was also instrumental in making more generally 
known the principles of scriptural interpretation 
adopted by the continental Unitarians.§ Indeed, 
the press teemed with works, the object of which 
was to undermine the popular belief in the doc- 
trine of the Trinity. The Rev. Francis CheyneU, 
in the Dedication to a treatise published A.D. 1650,|| 
says, " since the beginning of the year 1645, there 
have been many blasphemous books to the great 
dishonour of the ever-blessed Trinity printed in 
England." Of some of these there are probably no 
copies now in existence ; and of not a few the very 
titles are unknown. Others are still occasionally 
to be met with in booksellers' catalogues, and the 
libraries of collectors. But we often learn more of 
writings of this class, through the medium of the 
answers which they called forth, than from the 
works themselves; and if it were not for such 

• Whitelocke'8 Mem. p. 212. \ V. 240. 

X Vide Art. 286. § Vide Art. 284. 

The Divine Trinunity. 



authors as Thomas Edwards and Francis Cheynell, 
who give sach alarming pictures of the spread of 
Unitarianism in their day, we might ahnost be 
tempted to doubt, whether it had any existence, 
except in the minds of a few isolated individuals. 

Ephraim Fagitt published a work on the prevail- 
ing heresies of the age, entitled, " Heresiography, 
or a Description of the Heretickes and Sectaries 
sprang up in these latter Times." The 4th edition 
was published A.D. 1647, in 4to. ; and it is from 
this that the following particulars are taken. In 
the Epistle Dedicatory "To the Eight Hon. Thomas 
Atkin, Lord Mayor of the City of London," the 
author says, "we have also Socinians, who teach 
that Christ dyed not to satisfie for our sins: and 
also his incarnation to be repugnant to reason, and 
not to be sufficiently prov'd by Scripture, with many 

other abominable errors We have Arrians, 

who deny the Deity of Christ." 

The following is his account of the Socinians. 
"Li treating of these Sectaries I will propose: 1. 
Their Originall. 2. Some of their chiefe Errours, 
with the refutation of them. .... 1. Socinisme, or 
Socinianisme hath its name from Lselius Socinus, 
and his Nephew Faustus Socinus, both Italians of 
Siena in the State of Florence. ... 2. Lselius Soci- 
nus in the time of Mr. Calvin, broached his opinions 
by private Letters, written to Calvin: Gaustus his 
Son, by publicke writings, and by books followed 
the steps of his father in corrupting and traducing 
the sincere orthodox faith." Gaustus is no doubt 
a misprint for Faustus ; but it is remarkable, that 
the Heresiographer should have been so little stu- 



dious of accuracy, as first to call him the " Nephew," 
(which he was,) and afterwards the " Son," (which 
he was not,) of Laelius. " 3. For," proceeds our 
author, " Socinianisme is a compound of many per- 
nicious and antiquated heresies, in which are revived 
the errors especially of these five Sects, viz. Ebion- 
ites, Arrians, Photinians, Servetians, Antitrinita- 
rians, with which are joyned the Samosatonians and 
Sabellians, of whom also they participate. Their 
erroneous and dangerous opinions may be read 
especially in the works of Socinus, Ostorodius, Cate- 
chesis Racoviensis, Volkellius, and others."* 

Of the " Antitrinitarians, or new Arrians," the 
same writer gives the subjoined account. After 
telling his reader, that they are " called Arrians of 
the old Heretick Arrius^ who was a Deacon of the 
Church of Alexandria," he adds, " The Antitrinitap 
rians have renewed Arrius his old heresie, and they 
are called Antitrinitarians because they blaspheme 
and violate the Holy Trinity. These Antitrinitari- 
ans sprung up in Polonia and neighbouring Coun- 
treys in the year of our Lord, 1593. Against this 
Sect Doctor Pelargus Wigandus, and others have 
written learned Treatises. The horrible blasphe- 
mies, and devillish opinions of these Hereticks I 
am loath to name, but that my desire is that Chris- 
tians should take notice of them to beware of them. 
1. They deny the Trinity of Persons. 2. They 
deny the Son of God. 3. The etemall generation 
of the Son to be against reason, against truth. 
4. Christ not to be called God in respect of his 
Essence, but by reason of his dominion. 5. The 

• Pp. 129, 130. 


Holy Ghost not to be God. From these false doc- 
trines and heresies good Lord deliver us. . . . These 
hereticks have beene heretofore burnt among us, as 
Anno 1611, March 18, Bartholomew Legate, an 
obstinat Arrian, was burnt in Smithfield; he refused 
all £ivour, contemned Ecclesiasticall government. 
And in the month of April following, one Edward 
Wightman was burnt at Lichfield for the same 
Heresie. Queene Elizabeth of blessed memory, 
hearing of them, said, she was very sorrowftill to 
heare that shee had such Monsters in her King- 
dome ; and truly, it grieveth me very much to re- 
late their blasphemous and divellish opinions."* 

The above descriptions, though erroneous in many 
particulars, serve to shew the pious horror, with 
which the writer contemplated the " audacious bold- 
nesse" of the Socinians, and Antitrinitarians, or 
New Arians, who, in those days, disturbed the peace 
of the Church with what he is pleased to call their 
" abominable errors " and " horrible blasphemies." 

On the 1st of April, 1647, John Biddle addressed 
a letter to Sir Henry Vane, requesting him either 
to procure his liberation from prison, where he had 
been confined for the space of sixteen months, or 
to bring his case before the House of Commons ; 
and Sir Henry shewed himself his friend. But the 
only result of his interference was, that Biddle was 
committed to the custody of an ofiicer of the House 
of Commons, and continued under restraint for the 
next five years. His case was referred to the As- 
sembly of Divines, then sitting at Westminster, and 
he delivered in to them in writing his "Twelve 

• Pp. 131, 132. 



Arguments against the Deity of the Holy Spirit," 
which were printed in the course of the same year, 
and burnt by the common hangman on the eighth 
of September. 

About the beginning of March 164^, an English 
translation of the first four books of Acontius's 
" Satanse Stratagemata" was published in London. 
It was dedicated to the Right Honorable the Lords 
and Commons of England in the High Court of 
Parliament assembled ; to His Excellency Sir Tho- 
mas Fairfax, Captain General, and the Right Honor- 
able Oliver Cromwell, Lieutenant General of all the 
Forces in England; and to the Right Honorable 
John Warner, Lord Mayor of the City of London ; 
and was recommended to the Parliament, Army and 
City, as a book fit to direct them how to distinguish 
truth from error, in those difficult and trying times. 
The translator's name was purposely concealed : but 
the book had no sooner made its appearance, than 
the Rev. Francis Cheynell brought the matter before 
the Assembly of Divines. The Assembly appointed 
a Committee to examine its contents, and report 
concerning it with all convenient speed. One of 
the first discoveries which the Committee made, 
was, that a member of their own Assembly, " the 
learned and judicious Mr. Dury," had recommended 
the book in a letter addressed to Mr. Samuel Hartlib, 
and prefixed to the translation. A request was 
accordingly made, that Mr. Dury's name might be 
placed upon the Committee ; and although he had 
gone out of his way to thank the translator, through 
Mr. Hartlib, for having done so great a service as 
to render "this excellent piece of Learning" into 


English, and had expressed his conviction, that it 
would be satisfactory " to such as are free from hard- 
ness of heart in the ways of factiousness, and not 
blinded with carnal ends in the prosecution of reli- 
gious controversies," he had no sooner entered the 
Committee-room, than he declared his willingness 
to make a public retractation of what he had written, 
" because," as we are told, " he clearly saw that they 
had practised upon his passionate love of peace, to 
the great prejudice of truth, and that he was merely 
drawn in to promote a Syncretism beyond the ortho- 
dox lines of commimication."* The Committee 
deputed Mr. Cheynell to draw up the report, of 
which he himself gives the following copy. 

" The Report made to the Reverend Assembly, 
March 8, 164i, by Mr. CheyneU. 

" We humbly conceive, That Acontius his enu- 
meration of points necessary to be known and be- 
leeved for the attainment of salvation is very de- 

" 1. Because in the Creed which Acontius framed 
there is no mention made either of the Godhead of 
Jesus Christ, or of the Godhead of the Holy Ghost. 

" 2. Although Acontius doth acknowledge Christ 
to be truly the Son of God, yet he doth not in his 
Creed declare him to be the natural Son of God. 

** That these points are necessary to be known and 
believed for the attainment of salvation, is in our 
judgement clearly expressed in the Holy Scriptures, 
1 Joh. 5. 7, 20. compared with Joh. 17. 3. 

• ChetpielTs Divine Trinunity, pp. 453—456. 


"We do therefore conceive, that Acontius was 
justly condemned, because he maintains that the 
points of doctrine which he mentions, are the only 
points which are necessary to be known and be- 
leeved, and did not hold forth or mention the points 
aforesaid as necessary to salvation. 

" And we esteem him to be the more worthy of 
censure, because he lived in an age when the Pho- 
tinian Heresie was revived, and yet spared the 
Photinians, though he condemned the Sabellians. 

" FinaUy, Acontius doth cautelously decline the 
orthodox expressions of the ancient Church, in the 
foure first generaU Synods; and doth deliver his 
Creed in such general expressions, that as we con- 
ceive the Socinians may subscribe it, and yet retaine 
the worst of their blasphemous errours. 

" The premises being humbly presented, we leave 
it to the judgement of this Reverend Assembly, 

" Whether Acontius his ' Stratagems' was a book 
fit to be translated into English, and recommended 
to the Parliament, Army, and City to direct them 
how to distinguish truth from errour in this junc- 
ture of time ]*' 

Cheynell informs us, that he enlarged " somewhat 
affectionately " upon these few heads of the Report ; 
on which he was unanimously requested by the 
Assembly, through its Prolocutor, to lay his views 
upon the subject before the public, as soon as the 
visitation at Oxford was brought to a close.* The 
object of this visitation was to bring about a reform 
in the University of Oxford. It was appointed by 

• Pp. 452—457. 



the Parliament in 1647, and Mr. Cheynell was 
nominated one of the visitors. The University men 
proved refractory, and treated the visitors, and the 
new Chancellor, (the Earl of Pembroke,) with rude- 
ness.* On this occasion John Webberley suflfered 
much for his loyalty, first by imprisonment, and 
afterwards by expulsion. He had before translated 
into English several Socinian books, some of which 
he had published anonymously ; and others, which 
were still lying by him, were now seized, and 
taken out of his study by command of the Par- 
liamentary Visitors, f 

With such evidences of the existence of Socinian- 
ism, in the heart of an orthodox University, like 
that of Oxford, we may imagine what kind of report 
would be sent in to Parliament by such men as 
Francis Cheynell; and it can scarcely excite sur- 
prise, that instant measures should be taken for the 
suppression of this growing heresy. It was on 
Monday, April 17th, 1648, that Webberley was 
committed to prison ; and on the Ist of May, just a 
fortnight from that time, the Presbyterian party 
finding that they had a majority in the House of 
Commons, it was voted, that all Ordinances concern- 
ing Church Government, which had been referred 
to Committees, should now be brought in, and de- 
bated ; and that the Ordinance against Blasphemy 
and Heresy should be determined. J This "Dra- 
conick Ordinance," § as it has been justly styled, 
passed both Houses, but not without much opposi- 

• NeoTa Hist. Vol. HI. p. 452. 
X NeoTs Hist. Vol. IIL p. 497. 

t Wbod'a Fasti, Vol. I. p. 284. 
§ Appendix, No. xvii. 



tion.* It enacted, that all such persons as willingly, 
by preaching, teaching, printing or writing, main- 
tain and publish, that the Father is not God, the 
Son is not God, or the Holy Ghost is not Grod, or 
that they three are not one eternal God ; or that in 
like manner maintain and publish, that Christ is 
not God equal with the Father ; shall be adjudged 
guilty of Felony : and in case the party upon his 
trial shall not abjure his said error, and defence and 
maintenance of the same, he shall suffer the pains 
of death, as in case of Felony, without benefit of 

It may seem surprising, that a body of men, who 
could pass such a law as this, should allow it to 
slumber, when their favourite doctrines were so 
fearlessly assailed by Biddle and others, and their 
penal enactments produced so little effect upon those, 
against whom they were more especially levelled. 
But the truth is, dissensions broke out among the 
Members of the House of Commons, which rendered 
this Ordinance a mere dead letter ; and the army 
contained many, not only privates, but non-commis- 
sioned and superior officers, who had incurred the 
penalties denounced in it, and therefore threw the 
weight of their influence into the liberal side of the 
scale. To this alone it was owing, that John Biddle 
did not fall a sacrifice to his temerity ; and add one 
more to the number of martyrs, who had already 
forfeited their lives in defence of what they believed 
to be the truth of God. 

• Whitelocke*8 Mem. p. 302. 


After the execution of Charles I., the sovereign 
power was lodged in the hands of the Independents, 
whom the other classes of sectaries combined in 
supporting, because they found in that party a 
greater disposition to tolerate their respective pecu- 
Harities of doctrine and discipline, than in the Pres- 

Judge Bradshaw, who had presided at the King's 
trial, and who was known to be no friend to Mr. 
Biddle, ordered him to be recalled, and placed under 
stricter confinement than ever. But Biddle was 
not wholly friendless. There was one member of 
the House of Commons, who not only sympathised 
with him in his suflferings, but adopted, and openly 
advocated his religious sentiments. This was John 
Fry, a Dorsetshire gentleman, of more than ordinary 
talents, but a violent political partizan, whose zeal 
greatly outran his discretion, and who was de- 
prived of his seat for publishing two pamphlets, in 
which he openly advocated the religious opinions of 
Biddle.f Frequent allusions are made to him by 
Francis Cheynell, in his "Divine Trinunity," the 
composition of which that prolific writer undertook, 
in consequence of his appointment to the ofiice of 
Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity ; and the full 
title of which is as foUows. " The Divine Trinunity 
of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit : or. The blessed 
Doctrine of the three CoessentiaU Subsistents in the 
etemall Godhead without any Confusion or Division 
of the distinct Subsistences, or Multiplication of the 

• Eapin's History of England, Vol. II. p. 573. 
t Vide Art. 286. 
VOL. I. N 



most single and entire Godhead, acknowledged, 
beleeved, adored by Christians, in Opposition to 
Pagans, Jewes, Mahumetans, blasphemous and Anti- 
christian Hereticks, who say they are Christians^ htU 
are not : declared and published for the Edification 
and Satisfaction of all such as worship the only true 
God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all three as one 
and the selfsame God blessed for ever. By Francis 
Cheynell. London, 1650." 8vo. 

Among others, named Socinians by contemporap 
neous writers, was John Knowles,* who answered 
a paper on the Godhead of Christ by the Rev. 
Samuel Eaton, first of Dukinfield, and afterwards 
of Stockport, in Cheshire. Mr. Eaton defended 
himself in a work, entitled, " The Mystery of God 
Incarnate," London, 1650; and published, in the 
year following, a " Vindication, or further Confir- 
mation of some other Scriptures produced to prove 
the Divinity of Jesus Christ, distorted and miserably 
wrested and abused by Mr. John Knowles."f 

The sect of Quakers, or Friends, took its rise 
about this time. Much has been said respecting 
the doctrines held by the founders of this religious 
body. It has been contended on the one hand, and 
denied on the other, that they disbelieved the doc- 
trine of the Trinity. On this subject more will be 
said, when we come to speak of William Penn. In 
the mean time, it may suffice to quote what Neal 
says upon the subject, in his " History of the Puri- 
tans."! "The doctrines they delivered," observes 

• Vide Art, 287. t Woods Athen. Oxon. Vol. H. p. 342. 

\ Vol. IV. Chap. i. p. 36. 


this writer, " were as various and uncertain as the 
principle from which they acted. They denied the 
Holy Scriptures to be the only rule of their faith^ 
calling it a dead letter, and maintaining that every 
man had a light within himself, which was a suffi- 
cient rule. They denied the received doctrine of the 
Trinity and Incarnation. They disowned the sacra- 
ments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper ; nay, some 
of them proceeded so far, as to deny a Christ with- 
out them ; or at least, to place more of their de- 
pendence upon a Christ within." 

On the 10th of February, 1652, an Act of Oblivion 
was passed, and some provisos, proposed to be added 
to it, were debated.* The subject was resumed on 
the 17th of the same month ; and many of these 
provisos were agreed to.f It has been called " A 
(General Act of Oblivion ; "J and probably secured 
aU, who were not regarded as state criminals.§ Mr. 
Biddle certainly experienced the benefit of this Act ; 
for he, among others, was liberated by it from his 
long confinement. 

In this year, the Racovian Catechism, in the ori- 
ginal Latin, began to be publicly sold in London. 
Appended to it was the Life of Faustus Socinus by 
Przipcovius, with a catalogue of the works of that 
eminent reformer. The whole was comprised in a 
small volume, and bore the imprint of Racovia, but 
had issued in reality from a London press in 1651. 
A work of this kind, though written in a dead lan- 
guage, was not likely to pass without observation. 

• WhUeloeke'8 Mem. p. 614. t Ibid. 

t Wood's Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 302. 
§ Mon. Repos. Vol. XIII. 1818, p. 413. 

N 2 


We find, accordingly, that it attracted the notice of 
Parliament, and the subject was referred to a Com- 
mittee. Mr. Millington reported from this Com- 
mittee; and several portions of the book having 
been read, the House passed the following reso- 

" Resolved upon the question by the Parliament, 
That the book, Entituled *Catechesis Ecclesiarum 
quae in Regno Poloniae, &c.' commonly called The 
Racovian Catechism, doth contain matters that are 
blasphemous, erroneous and scandalous. 

" Resolved upon the question by the Parliament, 
That all the printed copies of the book Entituled 
'Catechesis Ecclesiarum quae in Regno Polonise, 
&c.' commonly called The Racovian Catechism, be 

" Resolved upon the question by the Parliament, 
That the Sheriflfe of London and Middlesex be 
authorized and required to seize all the printed 
copies of the book Entituled ' Catechesis Ecclesiarum 
quae in Regno Poloniae, &c.' commonly called The Ra- 
covian Catechism, wheresoever they shall be found, 
and cause the same to be burnt at the Old Exchange, 
London, and in the New Palace, at Westminster, 
on Tuesday and Thursday next. 

" Friday, the Second of April, 1652, 

" Resolved by the Parliament, That these Votes 
be forthwith printed and published. 

"Hen. Scobell, Cleric. Parliamenti."* 

* Votes of Parliament touching the Book commonly called The 
Racovian Catechism. London, Printed by William Field, Printer to 
the Parliament of England, 1662. WhUelocke^s Memor. p. 521, April 
6, 1652. 


In the same year an English translation of this 
Catechism was printed at Amsterdam. Some have 
supposed that John Biddle was the translator ; but 
this is doubtful. There is an equal chance of its 
having been William Hamilton, or John Webber- 
ley.* Be this as it may, however, the introduction 
of this Catechism into England appears greatly to 
have disturbed the composure of the Oxford Divines, 
at whose request Dr. John Owen published, in 8vo., 
1653, his " Diatriba de Justitia Divina, sen Justitiae 
Vindicatricis Vindiciae ;" in which he attacked the 
authors of the Catechism, and undertook to refute 
the arguments of Crellius and Socinus. He dedi- 
cated this Diatribe to Cromwell, with whom he was 
a great favourite ; and who had recently conferred 
upon him the office of Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, f 
But in spite of the precautions taken by the ortho- 
dox to prevent the spread of Unitarian writings, 
and to guard the minds of the public against the 
poison which they were supposed to contain, the 
press groaned under them; and the year 1653 was 
remarkable for the number of English translations 
from the works of the Polish Socinians, to which 
it gave birth. Of these, two at least proceeded 
from the pen of John Biddle, and bear his initials, 
J. B.J The rest are without any translator's name, 
or any mark, by which they can be distinguished as 
his, or those of any other person in particular ; but 
they are usually attributed to him, and are claimed 
as his by Dr. Toulmin, in " A Review of the Life, 

• Vide Art. 2S5. 

t Wilson* B Dissenting Churches, Vol. I. p. 267. 

\ Vide Art. 285. 


Character and Writings of the Rev. John Biddle, 
M.A. London, 1791."* 

Near the close of the year 1653, Cromwell was 
made Protector ; and his first act in that capacity 
was, to cause an instrument to he prepared, consist- 
ing of forty-two articles, and entitled, '' The Govern- 
ment of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland 
and Ireland." This was read in the presence of 
the Commissioners of the Great Seal, and the Lord 
Mayor and Aldermen of London ; after which, the 
Protector took an oath, to observe it to the utmost 
of his power.-f The articles relating to religion 
were the following. 

" XXXV. That the Christian religion, contained 
in the Scriptures, be held forth and recommended 
as the publick profession of these nations ; and that 
as soon as may be, a provision, less subject to scru- 
ple and contention, and more certain than the pre- 
sent, be made for the encouragement and mainte- 
nance of able and painful teachers, for instructing 
the people, and for discovery and confutation of 
error, heresie, and whatever is contrary to sound 
doctrine : And that, until such provision be made, 
the present maintenance shall not be taken away 
nor impeached. 

" XXXVI. That to the publick profession held 
forth, none shall be compelled by penalties or other- 
wise, but that endeavours be used to win them by 

• Sect. xi. 

t NeaTs Hist. Vol. IV. pp. 72—75. Rapin'B Hist, of England, Vol. 
II. p. 591. 


sound doctrine, and the example of a good conver- 

" XXXVII. That such as profess faith in God 
by Christ (though diflfering in judgment from the 
doctrine, worship or discipline publickly held forth) 
shall not be restrained from, but shall be protected 
in the profession of the faith, and exercise of their 
religion ; so as they abuse not this liberty, to the 
civil injury of others, and to the actual disturbance 
of the publick peace on their parts : Provided this 
Hberty be not extended to Popery or Prelacy, nor 
to such as, under the profession of Christ, hold forth 
and practise licentiousness. 

"XXXVIII. That all Laws, Statutes, Ordi- 
nances, and clauses in any Law, Statute and Ordi- 
nance to the contrary of the aforesaid liberty, shall 
be esteemed as null and void."* 

By a just and fair construction, these articles 
would have protected Unitarians, as well as others, 
in the exercise of their religion ; and probably they 
were so intended. Had the framers of this scheme 
of government sought for terms, by which to de- 
scribe the Unitarian faith and worship, they could 
not have done it more concisely, or more accurately, 
than by those which they have employed, in the 
thirty-seventh article. It was observed, indeed, in 
the debates, which arose in Parliament upon the 
" Instrument of Government," that all were to be 
protected in the exercise of their religion, who 
agreed in Fundamentals ; and a vote was passed 
accordingly, declaring, that all should be tolerated, 

• JVhitelocke'B Mem. p. 557. 


or indulged, who professed the Fundamentals of 
Christianity. But as the House was at a loss to 
define, what classes of Christian believers its own 
vote included, and whom it shut out, a Committee 
was appointed to determine this question, by the 
aid of certain Divines.* The Committee being in 
number about fourteen, each nominated one Divine. 
Lord Broghill, afterwards Earl of Orrery, named 
Archbishop Usher; but he declined acting, and 
Mr. Baxter was appointed in his stead. " Where- 
upon," says Mr. Baxter, " I was sent for up to Lon- 
don : But before I came, the rest had begun their 
work, and drawn up some few of the Propositions, 
which they called Fundamentals : The men that I 
found there were, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Reyner, Dr. 
Cheynell, Dr. Goodwin, Dr. Owen, Mr. Nye, Mr. 
Sydrach Simpson, Mr. Vines, Mr. Manton, and 
Mr. Jacomb. I knew how ticklish a business the 
enumeration of Fundamentals was, and of what 
very ill consequence it would be if it were ill done ; 
and how unsatisfactory that question \^What are 
your Fundamentals f] is usually answered by the 
Papists. My own judgment was this, that we must 
distinguish between the sense (or matter) and the 
words; and that it's only the sense that is primarily 
and properly our Fundamentals : and the words no 
further than as they are needful to express that 
sense to others, or represent it to our own concep- 
tion : that the word [^Fundamentals^ being metapho- 
rical and ambiguous, the word [Essentials^ is much 
fitter. ♦ ♦ ♦ I suppose that no particular words in 

• NeafB Hist. Vol. IV. p. 97. 


the world are Essentials of our religion. * * ♦ 
Also I suppose that no particular Formula of Words 
in any or all languages is essential to our religion. 
* * * Therefore I would have had all the brethren 
to have offered the Parliament the Creeds Lord's 
Prayer and Decalogv^ alone as our Essentials or 
Fundamentals; which at least contain all that is 
necessary to salvation, and hath been by all the 
ancient Churches taken for the sum of their reli- 
gion. And whereas they still said, [A Socinian or 
a Papist will subscribe all this,^ ^ answered them, 
So much the better, and so much the fitter it is to 
be the matter of our concord."* 

Mr. Baxter's advice was rejected; and, after 
much wrangling, a series of articles was prepared, 
and presented to the Committee. They were drawn 
up by Dr. Owen, assisted by Dr. Goodwin, and 
Messrs. Nye and Simpson, all zealous and orthodox 
Independents ; and were delivered in to the Com- 
mittee, with the following title prefixed. " The 
Principles of Faith presented by Mr. Thomas Good- 
win, Mr. Nye, Mr. Sydrach Simpson, and other 
Ministers, to the Committee of Parliament for Reli- 
gion, by Way of Explanation to the Proposals for 
propagating the Gospel." The fourth article as- 
serted, " that God is one in three persons or subsist- 
ences;" and the sixth and seventh, "that Jesus 
Christ is the True God," and "also True Man."t 

• Reliquiffi Baxterianse : or, Mr. Richard Baxter's Narrative of the 
most memorable Passages of his Life and Times. London, 1696, Fol. 
Lib. i. Part ii. pp. 197, 19S. See also a curious memorandum of Mr. 
Baxter's on this subject in the Monthly Repository for 1825, Vol. XX. 
pp. 287— 2S9, from the Baxter MSB. in Dr. W^illiams's Library. 

t NeoTs Hist. Vol. IV. pp. 98-100. 




But the Parliament being dissolved soon after, this 
list of Fundamentals was never brought into the 
House, and nothing more was heard of it.* 

Mr. Baxter, in his Life, mentions a curious pro- 
posal for uniting all Christians into one body, which 
was made to him, during his stay in London on 
this occasion, by Dr. Nicholas Gibbon. " While I 
lodged at the Lord Broghill's," says he, " a certain 
person was importunate to speak with me. Dr. Nic. 
Gibbon ; who shutting the doors on us that there 
might be no vdtnesses, drew forth a scheme of theo- 
logy, and told me how long a journey he had once 
taken towards me, and engaged me to hear him 
patiently open to me his scheme, which he said was 
the very thing that I had been long groping after ; 
and contained the only terms and method to resolve 
all doubts, and unite all Christians throughout the 
world: And there was none of them printed but 
what he kept himself, and he communicated them 
only to such as were prepared, which he thought I 
was, because I was, 1. Searching, 2. Impartial, and 
3. A lover of method. I thankt him and heard 
him above an hour in silence, and after two or three 
days talk with him, I found all his frame (the con- 
trivance of a very strong headpiece) was secretly 
and cunningly fitted to usher in a Socinian Popery, 
or a mixture of Popery and half Socinianism. Bi- 
shop Usher had before occasionally spoken of him 
in my hearing as a Socinian, which caused me to 
hear him with suspicion, but I heard none suspect 
him of Popery, though I found that it was that 

• Reliq. Baxt, p. 205. 


which was the end of his design. This jugler hath 
this twenty years and more gone up and down thus 
secretly, and also thrust himself into places of pub- 
lic debate : (as when the bishops and divines dis- 
puted before the King at the Isle of Wight, &c.) 
And when we were lately offering our proposals for 
concord to the King, he thrust in among us ; till I 
was fain plainly to detect him before some of the 
Lords, which enraged him, and he denied the words 
which in secret he had spoken to me. And many 
men of learmng and parts are perverted by him."* 
This smgular compound of Socinianism and Popery 
was a native of Poole, in Dorsetshire. He studied 
at Oxford, where he took his Doctor's degree in 
1639. At that time he was Rector of Seven-Oaks, in 
Kent. On the breaking out of the Rebellion, he 
espoused the royal cause ; and after the Restoration 
he became Rector of Corfe Castle, in his native 
county. The great object of his life was to heal 
the religious dissensions, which existed among his 
countrymen; but it must be admitted, that the 
methods, by which he proposed to effect this object, 
were neither of a very practical, nor a very intelli- 
gible nature. The following are the titles of some 
of his works. " The Reconciler, earnestly endea- 
vouring to unite in sincere Affection the Presbyters 
and their Dissenting Brethren of all sorts. London, 
1646." 4to. " A Paper delivered to the Commis- 
sioners of Parliament (as they called themselves) at 
the personal Treaty with his Majesty King Charles 
I. in the Isle of Wight, An. 1648." This was 

• Reliq. Baxt. Lib. i. Part ii. § 60, i)p. 20o, 206. 


printed, but without date, on a single folio sheet 
" Theology real and truly scientifical ; in Overture 
for the Conciliation of all Christians, the Theist, 
Atheist, and all Mankind into the Unity of the Spi- 
rit, and the Bond of Peace, &c." This was printed 
in two folio sheets, about the year 1663.* At his 
interviews with Charles the First in the Isle of 
Wight, the King was much pleased with his answers 
to the questions which were proposed to him, and 
thought well of him ever afterwards.f Baxter's 
account of him, though in the main true, is evi- 
dently a little coloured. He represents him as 
thrusting himself in, when the Bishops and Divines 
disputed before the King in the Isle of Wight ; but 
Wood says, that the King sent for him on that 

The year 1654, which was the first of Cromwell's 
Protectorate, was one of comparative exemption from 
persecution to Biddle, and his followers. Cromwell 
would have had all men enjoy their religious opi- 
nions without molestation. He professed himself 
unable to understand, what the Magistrate had to 
do in matters of religion ; and thought that he could 
not interfere, without being ensnared in the guilt 
of persecution. J But the zealots, both in and out of 
Parliament, could not enter into these enlarged and 
liberal views; and such men as Biddle were still 
harassed, from time to time, by those who arrogated 
to themselves the title of orthodox. The Parliament 
assembled on the 3rd of September. On the 6th of 

• Wood's Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 1128. f Ibid. 

t Reliq. Baxt. Lib. i. Pt. ii. p. 193. 


November a Committee of ten was appointed, to 
confer with the Protector, for the purpose of defining 
what was meant by the words "liberty of con- 
science."* What passed at this conference may be 
inferred from the course, which matters afterwards 
took in the House. On the 8th of December there 
was a long debate upon the subject; and on the 
11th of the same month, it was resolved, that to 
Bills touching liberty of conscience the Protector 
should have a negative, but 'not to Bills for sup- 
pressing heresies ; and that damnable heresies should 
be enumerated in the Bill then under consideration.-!- 
It is difficult to conceive, on what grounds the Pro- 
tector's veto should be permitted on Bills touching 
liberty of conscience, and refused on Bills for sup- 
pressing heresies. The distinction was a purely 
arbitrary one, and could have originated only in a 
fear, that Cromwell's liberality might lead him to 
stifle in their birth certain favourite schemes of the 
more rigid Calvinistic members, for the suppression 
of freedom of inquiry. In any case, the resolutions 
afford decisive evidence of the spirit, in which the 
majority of the House were disposed to treat the 
question of heresy, and of their determination to 
legislate on that one subject at least in the true 
spirit of orthodox intolerance. 

In the mean time, however, Mr. Biddle was sum- 
moned to appear at the bar of the House, and in- 
terrogated respecting the " Twofold Catechism." 
The matter was then referred to the Committee; 
and, on the strength of the report delivered in by 

• Whitelocke's Mem. p. 590. t ?• ^^l. 



that Committee, it was voted, on the 12th of Decern- 
ber, " That the whole drift and scope of the said 
'Twofold Catechism' is, to teach and hold forth 
many blasphemous and heretical opinions, and doth 
therein cast a reproach upon all the Catechisms now 
extant." This judgment of the author, as to existing 
Catechisms, was certainly anything but complimen- 
tary to the labours of the Assembly of Divines, who, 
not many years before, had been at the pains of 
getting up a Twofold Catechism of their own, on 
approved orthodox principles, which was to super- 
sede all other attempts of the kind, and to serve as 
a guide to the faithful through all future time. We 
cannot wonder, therefore, that a further vote was 
passed, by these pious legislators, to the following 
effect. " That all the printed books, entitled, ' The 
Twofold Catechism,' be burnt by the hand of the 
common hangman ; that the Sheriffs of London and 
Middlesex be authorized and required to see the 
same done accordingly in the New Palace- Yard, at 
Westminster, and at the Old Exchange ; and that 
the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company 
of Stationers, in London, be required immediately 
to make search for all the printed books, as afore- 
said, and seize all the said books, and deliver them 
to the Sheriffs."* The next day, December 13th, 
(not the 3rd, as it is printed by mistake in the 
" Short Account of the Life of John Biddle, M.A." 
prefixed to the 4to. Edition of his Tracts,) he was 
again brought to the bar of the House ; and on the 
preceding Resolutions being read to him, he avowed 

• Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. pp. 302, 303. Whitehche's Mem. p. 591. 


liimself the author of the two Catechisms, and was 
committed a close prisoner to the Gate-house. Here 
be was refused the use of pen, ink and paper ; and 
the gaoler received strict orders not to admit any 
one to see him.* The day following, all the copies 
of his book, which could be found, were burnt. But, 
as usually happens in such cases, some escaped the 
(ate to which Parliament had consigned them ; and 
many persons were now more eager than ever to 
obtain possession of a work, which had excited so 
g;reat a sensation in the public mind. The matter, 
therefore, was again agitated on the 16th of January, 
1655 ; and the Committee were instructed to bring 
in a BiU, for the purpose of punishing Mr. Biddle.-}' 
But Cromwell put a stop to these insane proceed- 
ings, by a premature dissolution of the Parliament, 
on the 22nd of the same month ; and in the Speech 
which he delivered on that occasion, he addressed 
the members in the following caustic terms. " Those 
that were sound in the faith, how proper was it for 
them to labour for liberty, for a just liberty, that 
men should not be trampled upon for their con- 
sciences 1 Had not they laboured but lately under 
the weight of persecutions, and was it fit for them 
to sit heavy upon others ? Is it ingenuous to ask 
Kberty, and not to give it 1 What greater hypocrisy, 
than for those who were oppressed by the Bishops, 
to bcfcome the greatest oppressors themselves, so 
soon as their yoke was removed? I could wish 
that they who call for liberty now also, had not 

• Short Account) &c. p. 7. 

t Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 303. 


too much of that spirit, if the power were in their 

After the dissolution of the Parliament, Biddle 
stm remained in prison ; and the government was 
at a loss to know how to dispose of him, though 
urged by the Presbyterian Ministers to inflict upon 
him the punishment of death. On the 10th of 
February, he, and his printer and pubUsher, having 
previously petitioned the Upper Bench, that they 
might be set at liberty, were (Hscharged from prison, 
on giving the requked security for their appearance 
in that Court, on the first day of the next term. On 
the 2nd of May, accordingly, they surrendered to 
take their trial, but were put off again till the fol- 
lowing term, which commenced on the 28th of the 
same month ; and then, after several objections and 
delays, the charge against them was abandoned.f 

Soon after his liberation, Biddle engaged in a 
dispute, respecting the deity of Christ, with the 
Rev. John Griffin, a Baptist Minister, who preached 
in the Stone Chapel of St. Paul's ; but his adversary 
being baffled, the dispute was put off to another 
day. In the mean time. Griffin and his party, not 
thinking themselves a match for him in argument, 
accused him of fresh blasphemies, and procured an 
order for his apprehension. According to the 
"Perfect Proceedings of State Affairs," J this took 

* Whitelocke's Mem. p. 596. The Lord ProUctor's Speech to the 
Parliament, in the Painted Chamber, at their Dissolution, upon Mon- 
day, Jan. 22, 1654. London, 1731, p. 12. 

t Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 303. 

\ No. 301 ; apud BurUm'8 Diary, edited by J. T, RuU, Esq. 1828, 
Vol. III. p. 118. 


place on Thursday, the 5th of July, 1655, under 
which date the following entry occurs in that work. 
" Mr. Biddle was apprehended by warrant from the 
Lord Mayor of the city of London ; and, this day, 
by the care of the officers of the city, the dispute 
at Paul's touching the Deity of Christ, was dismist." 
He was first cast into the Poultry-Compter, and 
afterwards committed to Newgate. At the next 
sessions he was put upon his trial, on the Ordinance 
of the 2nd of May, 1648. After the reading of the 
indictment, he prayed that counsel might be allow- 
ed him, to plead to its illegality ; but his prayer 
was not granted. He then gave into court his ex- 
ceptions, prepared in the usual legal form; and 
after some hesitation, was allowed the benefit of 
counsel. But the trial was deferred to the next 
day; and in the mean time, Cromwell interposed 
his authority, and arrested the proceedings against 
him. As he knew, that it was not for the interest 
of his government, that Mr. Biddle should be either 
acquitted, or condemned, he determined to take him 
♦ out of the hands of the law, and detain him in 
prison, till some means could be devised of placing 
him beyond the reach of his enemies, and at the 
same time of preventing a recurrence of such scenes, 
as that which had recently involved him in so much 
danger. The Presbyterians as a body, he knew, 
would be offended by his acquittal, and a large 
section of the Baptists, who had petitioned for his 
release, he was well aware, would think that their 
own liberty was at stake, if a verdict of guilty should 
be brought in against him. The Protector himself 
also felt, that the terms, on which he had accepted 

VOL. I. o 


the govemraent, would be infringed, if he allowed 
the trial to proceed; and particularly that which 
guaranteed the free exercise of their religion to all 
such as professed faith in God by Christ, and that 
which declared, that aU previous Laws, Statutes 
and Ordinances, at variance with this liberty, should 
be deemed null and void. He determined, there* 
fore, by way of compromise, and in order to prevent 
the consequences which might otherwise ensue, to 
take the law into his own hands, and get rid of the 
difficulty in a summary way, by sending Mr. Biddle 
to the Scilly Islands, which he did on the 6th of 
October, 1655.* 

In the same year Dr. John Owen, Dean of Christ- 
Church, was requested by the Council of State, to 
write a reply to Biddle's "Scripture Catechism." 
This led to the publication of his " Vindicise £van- 
gelicfiB," in the Preface to which,f he says, that "the 
evil is at the door," and "that there is not a city, a 
town, scarce a village in England, wherein some of 
this poison is not poured forth." Dr. Owen also, 
in his " Vindication of himself from the Animad- • 
versions of Richard Baxter, 1655," J says, " I must 
add, if for a defensative of myself I should here 
transcribe and subscribe some Creed, already pub- 
lished, I must profess it must not be that of Mr. £., 
which he calls the Worcestershire profession of 
Faith ; and that as for other reasons, so especially 
for the way of delivering the doctrine of the Trinity^ 
which but in one expression at most differs from 
the known confession of the Socinians ; and in sun- 

• CroOy's History of the English Baptists, Vol. I. pp. 206, 207. 
t P. 69. X 4to. pp. 6, 7. 


dry particulars gives too great a countenance to 
their abominations ; for instance, the first article of 
it is, * I believe that there is one only God, the 
Father, infinite in being, &c. ;' which being carried 
on toward the end, and joined to the profession of 
consent, as it is called in these words, ^ I doe hear- 
tily take this one God, for my only God and chief- 
est good, and this Jesus Christ for my only Lord 
Redeemer and Saviour,' evidently distinguishes the 
liOrd Jesus Christ our Redeemer, as our Lord, /rom 
that one true God; which not only directly answers 
that question of Mr. Biddle's, ' How many Lords of 
Christians are there' in distinction from this one 
Grod ] but in terms falls in with that which the 80^ 
cinians profess to be the tessera of their sect and 
Churches, as they call them, which is, that they 
believe in the one true living God the Father, and 
in his only Sonne Jesus Christ our Lord. Nor am 
I at so great an indifferency in the businesse of the 
procession of the Holy Ghost, as to those expressions 
of, from and by the Sonne^ as that confession is at; 
knowing that there is much more depends on these 
expressions as to the doctrine of the Trinity, than 
all the confessionists can readily apprehend."* 

Li 1656, the Rev. Nicholas Estwick, B.D., Rec- 
tor of Warkton, in Northamptonshire, published, in 
4to., a reply to Mr. Riddle's " Confession of Faith." 
The running title of this reply is, " Mr. Riddle's 
Socinian Catechisme examined and confuted;" and 
it was not till the greater part of it was printed, that 
the author found, he had not been answering Mr. 

• Vide Hunter's •* miwtrations and Proofs," in the Hewley Ca«c, pp- 

O 2 


Biddle's " Catechisme," but his "Confession of 
Faith." For this curious blunder he thus apolo- 
gises. " Christian Reader, we are to advertise thee 
of our great mistake in prefixing this title in the 
front of many pages : Mr. Biddle's Socinian Cate- 
chism Examined and Confuted: whereas it should 
have been, A Confession of Faith touching the Holy 
Trinity^ according to the Scripture^ Examined and 
Confuted : we tooke this his Confession of Faith to 
be his Catechism; but now wee understand that 
they are distinct Treatises, and of a different nature." 
The error was rectified when the title-page was 
printed, which contains no allusion to the Cate- 
chism. The work was dedicated to Edward, Lord 
Montague, of Broughton; and in the course of 
the Dedication, the author takes occasion to say, 
that Mr. Biddle's " writings have not been enclosed 
within the confines of our nation, but have taken 
their wings, and have fied beyond the seas, to the 
disreputation of our dear country, in the Reformed 
Churches, in so much that Maresius, Professour of 
Divinity at Groningen, a city which gives denomi- 
nation to one of the seventeen Provinces, is bold to 
avouch, I do not say either truly or charitably, that 
Socinianisme hath fixed its metrapolitical seat here 
in England, and displayed openly the banners of its 

That Unitarian opinions had found many advo- 
cates in England, when IVIr. Estwick wrote, is evi- 
dent from Chewney's " Anti-Socinianism," published 
in 4to., 1656, vdth an Appendix, entitled, " Alpcwo^oi, 
or, A Cage of Unclean Birds, containing the Au- 
thors, Promoters, Propagators, and Chief Dissemi- 


nators of this damnable Socinian Heresie;" and 
from . Bagshaw's " Dissertationes Duae Anti-Socini- 
anae, in quibus probatur, (1) Socinianos non debere 
dici Christianos: (2) Discussio istius Quaes tionis, 
An bona Infidelium Opera sint Peccata?" Lond. 
1657, 12mo. The " Anti-Socinianism " of Chew- 
ney professes to contain " A brief Explication of 
some places of Holy Scripture, for the Confutation 
of certain gross Errours, and Socinian Heresies, 
lately published by William Pynchion, Gent, in a 
Dialogue of his, called, * The Meritorious Price of 
our Redemption;'" and the " Atpc^napxai " is made up 
of a series of highly-wrought biographical sketches, 
or rather caricatures, of some of the most eminent 
Antitrinitarians of modem times, including Serve- 
tus, the two Socini, uncle and nephew, Gentilis, 
Gribaldus, Blandrata, Alciati, Davidis, and many 
others. Bagshaw's work, which is dedicated to the 
Governors and Patrons of Westminster College and 
School, was written for the purpose of shewing, 
that, as long as the Socinians deny the Divinity of 
Christ they are not Christians ; and that, as long 
as they follow the mere guidance of reason they are 
not Christians. The former thesis he endeavours 
to establish, firsts by the authority of the Church ; 
secondly^ by the authority of Scripture ; and thirdly^ 
from the analogy of heathenism and Socinianism. 
In defence of the latter, (namely, that reason alone 
does not suffice for the understanding of the Myste- 
ries of Faith,) he argues,^r5f, against the weakness 
of the instrument, which is the human intellect; 
and secondly^ from the excellence of the object, 
which consists of the Credenda and Agenda of the 


Christian Keligion. The latter part of the book is 
devoted to a discussion of the question respecting 
the good works of unbelievers, among whom, as a 
matter of course, he ranks the Socinians. The 
author of these Dissertations, the Rev. Edward Bag- 
shaw, M. A., was the second Master of Westminster 
School. We learn from Wood,* that he was a man 
of abandoned and dissolute character, and one upon 
whose word no reliance could be placed ; and yet 
this person takes upon himself to prove, that Uni- 
tarians are not Christians, and that their good works 
are of the nature of sin ! 

Biddle was now beyond the reach of his enemies ; 
but it required all Cromwell's firmness and address, 
to stop the tide of persecution, and prevent those, 
who rejected the popular doctrine of the Trinity, 
from being molested, on account of their religious 
opinions. Allusion has already been made to the 
rebuke, which he gave to one of his Parliaments, 
for its intolerance, when he prematurely dissolved 
it, on the 22nd of January, 1655. On the 17th of 
September, 1656, at the opening of a new Parlia- 
ment, he cautioned the members against the indul- 
gence of an exclusive spirit ; and plainly told them, 
that he would not allow one sect to tyrannize over 
another. " If a man of one form," said he, on that 
occasion, "will be trampling upon the heels of 
another form : if an Independent, for example, will 
despise him under Baptism, and veill revile him, and 
reproach and provoke him, I will not suffer it in 
him. If, on the other side, those on the Anabaptists 

• Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 492. 


shall be censuring the godly ministers of the nation 
that profess under that of Independency, or those 
that profess under Presbytery shall be reproaching 
or speaking evil of them, traducing and censuring 
of them ; as I would not be willing to see the day 
on which England shall be in the power of the Pres- 
bytery, to impose upon the consciences of others 
that profess faith in Christ, so I will not endure any 
to reproach them. But God give us hearts and 
spirits to keep things equal; which, truly, I must 
profess to you, hath been my temper. I have had 
boxes and rebukes on one hand, and on the other ; 
some envying me for Presbytery, others as an inletter 
to all the sects and heresies in the nation. I have 
borne my reproach; but I have, through God's 
mercy, not been unhappy in preventing any one 
Religion to impose upon another." 

By assuming this bold, and determined attitude, 
Cromwell succeeded in checking the spirit of in- 
tolerance ; and preventing any one religious party 
from obtaining the ascendancy. Nothing but the 
extraordinary energy of his own character would 
have enabled him to do this. Had he listened ex- 
clusively to the counsels of one particular party, he 
would soon have created a host of enemies : but by 
humouring all in turn, and giving a preference to 
none, he was able to keep the balance even. At 
the beginning of the Long Parliament, he sided 
with the Presbyterians, who were then the pre- 
dominant party ; and when the Independents grew 
more numerous, and began to acquire political im- 
portance, he attached himself to them. But after 
he was advanced to the Protectorate, he made it his 


aim to treat all religious parties alike, and shewed 
himself a friend to universal toleration. " He had 
some chaplains of all sorts," says Bishop Burnet ;^ 
"and he began in his latter years to be gentler 
towards those of the Church of England." It was 
this Catholic spirit which led him to extend over 
Biddle the shield of his protection, by placing him 
beyond the reach of those, who were thirsting for 
his blood ; and the first moment that he thought he 
could safely recal him, an order was sent for his 
return, and he was brought to London by a writ of 
Habeas Corpus^ after a banishment of between two 
and three years. No direct opposition appears to 
have been made to this act of clemency, by the 
zealots of any party : but it created much secret dis- 
satisfaction, which was carefully suppressed during 
the short remnant of Cromwell's life, but which 
broke out into loud and open complaints immediately 
after his death. That event took place on the 3rd 
of September, 1658, about five months after the 
liberation of Biddle ; and it is not improbable, that 
it was effected by poison, prepared, if not actually 
administered, by the hands of intolerance and fiina- 

Richard Cromwell summoned a Parliament for 
the 27th of January, 1659 ; and before it met, Mr. 
Biddle left London, and went into the country. It 
was with difficulty, however, that he was prevailed 
upon to do so ; for he felt that the post of danger 

• History of his own Time. London, 1724, Fol. Vol. I. p. 68. 


was, in his case, the post of duty. But the following 
entry in " Burton's Diary,"* shews, that the friend, 
who urged his temporary withdrawment from public 
life, evinced a wise precaution. 

"Monday Afternoon. [Feb. 7, 1658-9.] The 
Grand Committee for Religion sat the first time, 
Mr. Bacon in the chair. A Sub-Committee was 
appointed to inquire how Biddle came to be released, 
being imprisoned for blasphemy." 

A Committee similar to this would probably have 
been appointed by the preceding Parliament, which 
had been summoned by Oliver Cromwell for the 
20th of January, 1658 ; but the father, more resolute 
than the son, and fitter to cope with the dangers by 
which his path was beset, suddenly cut short their 
deliberations on the 4th of February in that year,f 
before they had sat long enough to perpetrate the 
acts of folly and malignity which they had evidently 

Bichard Cromwell, whose want of capacity for the 
situation, to which circumstances had accidentally 
raised him, soon became evident, was deposed by 
the army, May 6th, 1659. 

On the deposition of Richard Cromwell, a new 
Council of State was chosen ; and the Presbyterians, 
seeing no probability of reviving the Covenant, or 
coniing into power by the Rump Parliament, which 
was made up chiefly of Enthusiasts, and declared 

• VoL in. p. lis. t Whitelocke'8 Mem. p. 673. 



enemies to monarchy, entered into a confederacy 
with the Royalists, to restore the ancient form of 
government, by King, Lords and Commons. In 
the celebrated Declaration from Breda, Charles II. 
solemnly promised " a liberty to tender consciences, 
and that no man should be disquieted, or called in 
question for differences of opinion in matters of reli- 
gion, which do not disturb the peace of the King- 
dom."* In what manner this promise was fulfilled, 
the subsequent part of this brief narrative wiU shew. 

The only direct opposition to the restoration of 
the Stuart family, was that raised by the Fifth- 
Monarchy-Men. But this fanatical movement was 
seized upon as a pretext, for breaking through the 
" Declaration of Indulgence," which the King had 
made at Breda. On the 10th of January, a Pro- 
clamation was issued, forbidding the Anabaptists, 
Quakers, and Fifth -Monarchy -Men to assemble, 
under the pretext of worshiping Grod, except in 
some parochial Church or Chapel, or in private 
houses; and aU Mayors and Peace-Officers were 
commanded to search for conventicles, and cause 
any persons, found assembled in them, to be bound 
over to the next sessions.f The suspicions of the 
Court were also roused against the Independents ; 
and they, as well as the Baptists and Quakers, found 
it necessary to publish declarations, disavowing any 

• Nfitrs Hist. Vol. IV. Ch. iv. 
t Near$ Hist, Vol. IV. Ch. v. 


connexion with the conspirators, and professing 
sentiments of loyalty towards the King, and his 

To introduce the Fifth Monarchy, under " King 
Jesus," the conspirators had marched out of their 
Meeting-house, in Coleman Street, on Sunday, the 
6th of January, under the command of one Thomas 
Venner, to the number of five thousand well-armed 
men ; but after an ineffectual attempt to overturn 
the Government, in which they lost about half their 
number, finding that no one appeared to second 
their efforts, they surrendered, and Venner, with 
ten of his followers, was publicly executed. It so 
happened, that the Meeting-house of John Gt)odwin, 
the Arminian Independent, whose congregation con- 
sisted of members of suspicious orthodoxy, was 
situated in Coleman Street. He and his flock, 
therefore, were among the first to disclaim all con- 
nexion with Venner's movement, which they did in 
"A Declaration on the behalf of the Church of 
Christ usually meeting in Coleman Street, in Com- 
monion with Mr. John Goodwyn, against the late 
Insurrection made in the City of London." 1660. 
4to. This Declaration was signed, on behalf of the 
Church, by Richard Pryor, John Weekes, John 
Wightman, George Backlar, Joseph Hutchinson, 
and Edward Addenbrook. It contained sentiments 
worthy of the religious society from which it ema- 
nated. "We enter our just protest," say they, 
•* against their unchristian and unman-like principle, 
after the custome of Mahomet, to propagate Religion 
by the sword : The Gospel we own and profess, is 
not Evangelium armatum^ an armed Gospel: the 


weapons of that warfare, wherein we serve as Chris- 
tians, are not carnal, but spiritual: The Scriptures, 
Reasons and Arguments, are those offensive and 
defensive armes that we have taken up, in the 
quarrel of religion, and with which, and no other, 
we seek to defend, propagate and maintain it. If 
it were their principle to reduce men to the obe- 
dience of Christ, in a way less mild, rational and 
convictive, we assure the world it is none of ours."* 
Bishop Burnet says, in express terms, that John 
Goodwin headed the Fifth-Monarchy-Men :f but 
the Declaration, from which the above extract is 
given, clearly proves the contrary ; and it is remark- 
able, that, in the face of this disclaimer, such a 
calumny should have received the sanction of so 
respectable a writer. 

There was something particularly manly and 
straightforward in the Address of certain Kentish 
Baptists, on the restoration of the royal family, in 
the person of Charles the Second. Afler making 
"a full acknowledgment of the King's authority 
and dignity in civil things, over all manner of per- 
sons, ecclesiastical and civil, within his Majesties 
dominions," they add, " From all this that we have 
said, thou O King mayest see, that not without 
grounds, do we deny the taking the oath of thy 
Supremacy, which calls for obedience, as well in 
spiritual and ecclesiastical things and causes, as 
temporal ; not but that we can freely acknowledge 
thee to be Supream Governor of all persons, as well 
ecclesiastical as temporal, but still in temporal causes 

• P. 3. t History of his own Time, Vol. I. p. 67. 



and things."* This document is "dated the 25th 
day of the 11th moneth commonly called January ^^ 
and '^ signed in the name of the Baptists, Prisoners 
in the Goal at Maydstone," by William Jeffery, 
George Hammon, John Reve, and James Black- 

About this time " A brief Confession or Declara^ 
tion of Faith," remarkable for the liberality of its 
doctrinal sentiments, was put forth by "certain 
Elders, Deacons, and Brethren," among the Baptists, 
assembled in London, on behalf of themselves, and 
many others of the same persuasion, in the Metro- 
polis, and throughout England. The number of 
signatures attached to this document was seventy- 
three ; and among its leading articles are the follow- 
ing. " I. We believe, and are very confident, that 
there is but one God the Father, of whom are all 
things, from everlasting to everlasting, glorious and 
unwordable in all his attributes, 1 Cor. viii. 6. Isa. 
xL 28. — ^in. That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whom are all things, who is the only-begotten 
Son of Grod, bom of the Virgin Mary, being the 
true Lord and root of David, and also his Son and 
oflbpring according to the flesh ; whom God freely 
lent into the world because of his great love to the 
iraild; who as freely gave himself a ransom for all; 
taBting death for every man ; a propitiation for our 
; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of 

Humble Petition and Representation of the Sufferings of 
pcKCttble and innocent Subjects, called by the Name of Ana- 
iBlimbitants of the County of Kent, and now Prisonors in the 

Gill of BfaidrtoDe, for the Testimony of a good Conscionct". London, 

lM^4&mppu 13,14. 


the whole world. Luke xx. 24. Rev. xxii. 16. 1 
Tim. ii. 6, 6. 1 John ii. — VII. That there is one 
Holy Spirit, the precious gift of God, freely given 
to such as obey him ; Eph. iv. 4. Acts v. 32, that 
thereby they may be thoroughly sanctified, and 
made able (without which they are altogether un- 
able) to abide stedfast in the &ith, and to honour 
the Father, and his Son Christ, the author and 
finisher of their faith. 1 Cor. vi. 11. There are 
three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the 
Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one ; 
1 John V. 7, which Spirit of promise such have not 
yet received, (though they speak much of him) that 
are so far out of Love, Peace, Long-suffering, Gfen- 
tleness. Meekness and Temperance, (the fruits of 
the Spirit, Gal. v. 22, 23,) as they breathe out mudi 
cruelty, and great envy against the liberties, and 
peaceable living of such as are not of their judg- 
ment, though holy as to their conversation." There 
is a studious adherence to scriptural language 
throughout the whole of this Confession ; and al- 
though the text relating to the three heavenly wit- 
nesses is quoted, each subscriber is left to put his 
own interpretation upon it; and the word IHnity 
is not once mentioned, nor is the slightest allusion 
made to the doctrine. Mr. Whiston first met with 
this paper at Mr. Copper's Meeting-house, at Tun- 
bridge Wells, in July, 1748 ; and was so struck with 
it, that he procured a copy for insertion in the 
" Memoirs" of his own " Life and Writings," where 
it occupies from p. 661 to p. 675. But the Baptists, 
in the time of the Commonwealth, were a very mis- 
cellaneous body ; and though there were then, as 


there are in the present day, sections of that deno- 
mination, preeminently distinguished, among their 
contemporary religionists, by the largeness of their 
views, and the liberality of their feelings, there were 
others, who diverged into the opposite extremes of 
fanaticism and narrow-mindedness. 

During the time which elapsed, between the 
commencement of the civil war, in the reign of 
Charles I., and the Bestoration of the Stuart family, 
the Church of England was laid prostrate. The 
Presbyterians, who were at first the most powerful 
body among the Nonconformists, expected, by the 
aid of the Scotch, to succeed in establishing their 
form of Church Government, upon the ruins of 
Episcopacy; and for a time their efforts for this 
purpose seemed likely to be crowned with success. 
But they soon discovered, that they had formidable 
rivals to contend with in the Independents, and the 
various classes of Sectaries which sprang up, and 
claimed their share in the division of the spoil. We 
have already seen, how numerous and diversified 
were the religious bodies, to which those times gave 
birth; and if we are to believe a tenth part of the 
following description of the religious teachers of 
that day, extracted firom a pamphlet which made 
its appearance in the year of the Bestoration, we 
can scarcely wonder, that a large portion of the 
more sober inhabitants of the kingdom were pre- 
pared to hail any change which might take place, as 
an alteration for the better. " They are motley and 
mongrel predicants^ centaurs in the Church, half 
clericks and half laicks, the by-blows of the clergy, 
gifted hypocrites, severe momtisses^ a whining peo- 



pie, triobolary Christiaiis, new dwinding divines, 
the prophetical pigmies of this age, unordained, un- 
blest, untried, unclean spirits, whose calling, com- 
mission and tenure, depends on popularity, flattery 
and beggary ; their excellency consists in tautologiz- 
ing^ in praying extempore^ that is, out of all time, 
without order or method; being eminent in nothing 
above the plebeian pitch and vulgar proportion. 
They spin out their sermons at their wheels, or 
weave them up at their looms, or dig them out with 
their spades, weigh or measure them in their shops, 
or stitch and cobble them with their thimble and 
lasts; or thrash them out with their flayls, and 
afterward preach them in some barn to their dusty 
disciples, who, the better to set off the oddness of 
their silly teachers, fancy themselves into some 
imaginary persecution, as if they were driven into 
dens, and caves, and woods. Their holy and learn- 
ed academies, where they first conned this chymical 
new divinity, and are since come to so great pro- 
ficiency, were Munster's Revelations^ Genevans CaU 
vinism^ Amsterdam's Toleration^ and New England's 
Preciseness."' The pamphlet, from pp. 49 and 60 
of which the above extract is made, bears the fol- 
lowing title. " A Briefe Description or Character 
of the Religion and Manners of the Phanatiques in 
generall. Scil. Anabaptists, Independents, Brown- 
ists. Enthusiasts, Levellers, Quakers, Seekers, Fifth- 
Monarchy-Men, and Dippers : shewing and reftiting 
their Absurdities by due Application, reflecting 
much also on Sir John Praecisian, and other Novel- 
ists. Non seria semper. London, printed, and are 
to be sold by most Stationers. 1660." In this 


pamphlet, although the Socinians are not mentioned 
as a separate body in the title-page, an attempt is 
made to fix the charge of Socinianism on some 
of the religious denominations, to which a specific 
reference is made. Th6 author says, for instance,* 
" If they use the ancient doxology giving glory to 
the Trinity, as the Greek and Latin Churches ever 
did, their 8ocinian and Arian ears are so ofiended, 
as if Christians should ask them leave to own the 
blessed Trinity." In another place,f he describes 
the affections of the Phanatiques^ as " apt to run 
out into much disorder and confusion in rustical 
impertinencies, and pitiful rhapsodies of confused 
stuff, spitting out their poison like the Racovian 
Catechism, and such like primers of the devil :" and 
having censured such as he deemed the more ex- 
travagant PhanatiqueSj he adds, J "Some, though 
fiery, yet are orderly and patient in government ; 
though they excel in gifts, yet are not swelled with 
tumours. But these are as unsavoury salt, that is 
good for nothing, unless it be new-boiled in an 
Independent^ or Levelling cauldron, over a Socinian 
furnace, with a popular fire."§ The pamphlet, from 
which these extracts are made, bears strong internal 
evidence of being the production of one, who bore 
no good will to sectarianism, under any of its forms ; 
and to whom high Calvinism was as offensive as 
low Arianism, or Socinianism. Many of its state- 
ments, too, are of a grossly exaggerated character : 
but it affords no bad specimen of the estimate, 

• P. 12. t P. 15. X P- 42. 

S Mon. Rep. VoL XII. p. 102. 
VOL. I. P 



formed of the opponents of the Trinity, by a zealous 
Episcopalian, at the time of the Restoration. 

Certain London Pastors, in an Address published 
in the year 1660, complained, that the state of reli- 
gion in those times was corrupted by many dreadful 
errors, such as a denial of the Deity of Christ, and 
the Holy Ghost, and of a Trinity of persons in the 
Godhead. They asserted also that these errors had 
long been openly professed ;♦ and had the Presby- 
terians acquired the ascendancy at which they aimed, 
there can be little doubt, that stringent measures 
would have been adopted for the suppression of 
these presumed errors. But Episcopacy triumphed, 
and it became the policy of the successfiil party, to 
guard against a reaction, in fevour of the Presbyte- 
rian form of Church Government. With this view 
several legislative measures were passed, the object 
of which was to produce a compulsory conformity : 
and the most unscrupulous means were resorted to, 
for the purpose of attaining that object. The Pres- 
byterian Divines, during the palmy days of the 
Westminster Assembly, had done all in their power 
to check the spread of what they were pleased to 
call "heresy and blasphemy;" and were not dis- 
posed to tolerate any opinions, but those which 
made the nearest approximation to their own. It 
was now their turn to submit to the iron yoke of 
oppression ; and to feel what it was, to be deprived 
of that liberty of thought and action in religious 
matters, which, in the day of their power, they had 
been so eager to withhold from others. 

* Sandii Nucleus Hist. Eccles. Colon. 1676| 4to. p. 431. 


In 1661, the Corporation Act was passed. It was 
entitled, " An Act for the well-governing and regu- 
lating Corporations;" and excluded all persons from 
offices of magistracy and trust in corporate towns, 
who had not, within a year before their appoint- 
ment, taken the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
according to the rites of the Church of England. 
This Act affected all Nonconformists alike, and vir- 
tually confined all corporate offices to bona-fide 
members of the Church of England. 

In 1662, the Act of Uniformity was passed. This 
Act rendered it imperative upon every Clergyman 
to declare his unfeigned assent and consent to all 
and everything contamed, and prescribed, in and 
by the Book of Common Prayer; incapacitated 
every person from holding a benefice, or adminis- 
tering the Lord's Supper, who had not previously 
received episcopal ordination; and prohibited any 
one from preaching, or conducting public worship, 
unless he did it according to the rites of the Church 
of England. It also enacted, that the several laws 
and statutes formerly made for uniformity of prayer, 
some of which were arbitrary in the extreme, and 
did not even so much as recognize in any one, 
whether Clergyman or Layman, the right to dis- 
sent in the sUghtest particular from the doctrines 
and usages of the Established Church, should con- 
tinue in force, and be applied for punishing all 
offences against the said laws. The effect of this 
Act wafi, to deprive upwards of two thousand Mi- 
nisters of their benefices, which they had held dur- 
mg the time of the Commonwealth ; and to put it 
out of their power, to continue their ministerial 



labours, after this sacrifice to conscience, without 
exposing themselves to the penalties attached to 

During these perilous times, Mr. Biddle found it 
necessary to hold his meetings more privately than 
he had previously done : but his movements were 
narrowly watched, and on the 1st of June, 1662, 
about a fortnight after the Act of Uniformity had 
received the royal assent, he was apprehended in 
his own lodgings, while conducting divine worship 
in the presence of a few friends, and carried before 
Sir Richard Brown, a London Magistrate, who re- 
fused to bail him, and committed the whole party 
to prison. Mr. Biddle was shut up in a solitary 
cell for the space of five hours ; but the Recorder, 
on application being made to him, accepted the 
usual security, and bound the parties over to appear, 
and take their trial at the sessions. They attended 
at the proper time ; but no statute could be found, 
under which to indict them. They were, therefore, 
re-committed, and their trial was ordered to stand 
over till the sessions following, when they were 
indicted at common law; and being pronounced 
guilty, Mr. Biddle was sentenced to pay a fine of a 
hundred pounds, and each of his hearers one of 
twenty pounds. An order was at the same time 
made for their detention in prison, till the money 
should be paid. The Sherifi", Meynel, would have 
mitigated Mr. Biddle's fine to ten pounds, but to 
this Sir Richard Brown objected in the most posi- 
tive terms, at the same time expressing his deter- 
mination to commit Mr. Biddle to prison, and keep 
him there for the next seven years, though the 


whole fine should he paid. This was the cause of 
his not heing released ; for if his personal liberty 
could have been guaranteed, there would have been 
no difficulty in raising the money. He had been 
in prison little more than a month, when, owing to 
the want of cleanliness and ventilation in the place, 
he contracted a disease, which terminated his life 

in a few days.* 

About this time an application was made to the 
Unitarians throughout Europe, for contributions 
in behalf of the members of the Polish Unitarian 
Churches, who had recently been expelled from 
their native country ;■(• and although the noblemen 
and gentlemen, who made the application, knew 
that there were comparatively few families in En- 
gland, avowedly holding Unitarian sentiments, they 
sent a letter over to this country, entreating such 
assistance as could be had. Mr. Firmin, on this 
occasion, exerted himself to procure pecuniary aid 
among his own friends, and succeeded in obtain- 
ing some collections in Churches, though no Brief 
was issued.^ Whether these collections were made 
before or after the Act of Uniformity was passed, 
we are not told. All that we know is, that they 
were made in the year 1662, and at the suggestion 
of Thomas Firmin, who was then, and remained 
during the next thirty-five years, an active and 
zealous promoter of the Unitarian cause.§ 

* A Short Account of the Life of John Biddle, M. A. pp. 8, 9. 

t Appendix, No. xv. 

X The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmini late Citizen of London, pp. 24, 

S Vide Art. 3u3. 


It was stated above, that when Mr. Biddle and 
his friends appeared the first time to take their trial, 
" no statute could be found under which to indict 
them." The Draconick Ordinance of 1648* had 
not obtained the force of law, and no other Act 
could be discovered, which fully met the circum- 
stances of the case. This supposed defect of the 
law was not allowed to remain long without a re- 
medy ; for early in the year 1664 an Act was passed 
for suppressing seditious conventicles, which em- 
powered Sheriffs, or Justices of the Peace, or others 
commissioned by them, to dissolve, dissipate, and 
break up all imlawful conventicles, and to take into 
custody such of their number as they should think 
fit. This Act, usually known by the name of the 
Conventicle Act^ declares the 36th of Queen Eliza- 
beth to be in fuU force, which condemns all persons 
refusing peremptorily to go to Church, on convic- 
tion, to banishment, and in case of return, to death, 
without benefit of Clergy. It further enacts, that 
" if any person above the age of sixteen, after the 
first of July, 1664, shall be present at any meeting, 
under colour or pretence of any exercise of religion, 
in other manner than is allowed by the Liturgy or 
practice of the Church of England, where there 
shall be five or more persons than the household, 
shall for the first offence suffer three months' im- 
prisonment, upon record made upon oath, under the 
hand and seal of a Justice of Peace, or pay the sum 
of five pounds ; for the second offence, six months' 
imprisonment, or ten pounds; and for the third 

• Appendix, No. xvii. 


offence, the offender to be banished to some of the 
American plantations for seven years, or pay one 
hundred pounds, except New England and Virginia ; 
and in case they return, or make their escape, such 
persons are to be adjudged felons, and suffer death 
without benefit of Clergy." Those who allowed 
such conventicles in their houses, or outbuildings, 
were declared liable to the same forfeitures as other 
offenders. The Act was to continue in force for 
three years after the next session of Parliament. 

This Act rendered it extremely dangerous to hold 
meetings for Unitarian, or any other kind of dis- 
senting worship ; and Mr. Firmin, who, though a 
conscientious, was a prudent and timid man, from 
this time attended no worship in public, but that of 
the Church of England, although he privately held, 
and was well known to hold, no other than Unita^ 
rian sentiments. He had formerly been a hearer 
of the Kev. John Goodwin, and the Rev. John Bid- 
die. But during Mr. Biddle's exile he commenced 
business on his own accoimt in Lombard Street; 
and being unwilling to absent himself from public 
worship, he attended the ministry first of Mr. 
Jacomb, and afterwards of Dr. Outram, Clergymen 
of the Established Church. With these two gen- 
tlemen he cultivated an intimate friendship; and 
about the same time he formed an acquaintance 
with Dr. Benj. Whichcote, Provost of King's Col- 
lege, Cambridge; Dr. John Worthington, afterwards 
Master of Jesus CoUege, Cambridge; Dr. John 
WUkins, afterwards Bishop of Chester; and Mr., 
afterwards Dr. Tillotson, and Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. By these eminent men he was held in the 


highest esteem; and the preferment, which they 
obtained in the Church, never cause4 the slightest 
abatement in their regard for him, or their respect 
for his character. But his belief in the Divine 
Unity continued unshaken ; and he evinced great 
firmness of purpose, as v^ell as strength of mind, in 
resisting the arguments and importimities of his 
clerical friends, who were desirous of bringing him 
over to their own opinion respecting the doctrine of 
the Trinity.* 

The number of Clergymen, entertaining liberal 
sentiments on doctrinal subjects, was at this time 
very considerable ; — a circumstance which rendered 
it less offensive for a Unitarian, than it would other- 
wise have been, to attend the Church service. These 
were generally Cambridge men, who had been 
formed under such Divines as Doctors Whichcote, 
Cudworth, Wilkins, More and Worthington.f They 
seldom preached upon controverted points of doc- 
trine, which led many to suspect, that they were 
tainted with heresy. Indeed it is generally admitted, 
that many, who held valuable livings after the Re- 
storation, believed only in a Modal Trinity; and 
some are known to have been decided Unitarians. 
** AU these," says Bishop Burnet, alluding to the 
eminent Divines above mentioned, " and those that 
were formed under them, studied to examine farther 
into the nature of things than had been done for- 
merly. They declared against superstition on the 
one hand, and enthusiasm on the other. They loved 

• The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, pp. 13—15. 

t Bp, Burnet's Hist, of his own Time, Vol. I. p. 186. 


the constitution of the Church, and the Liturgy, and 
could well live under them : But they did not think 
it unlawfiil to live under another form. They wished 
that things might have heen carried with more 
moderation. And they continued to keep a good 
correspondence with those who had differed from 
them in opinion, and allowed a great freedom both 
in philosophy and in divinity : From whence they 
were called men of Latitude. And upon this men 
of narrower thoughts and fiercer tempers fastened 
upon them the name of Latitudinarians. They read 
Episcopius much. And the making out the reasons 
of things being a main part of their studies, their 
enemies called them Socinians. They were all very 
zealous against popery. And so, they becoming 
soon very considerable, the Papists set themselves 
against them to decry them as Atheists, Deists and 
Socinians."* Associating, as Mr. Firmin did, with 
Divines of this class, he had the less difficulty in 
reconciling his private views, respecting the Trinity, 
with the outward conformity which he practised. 
Yet his conduct in this respect has been severely, 
and justly censured by many ; and has not escaped 
the animadversion and rebuke of the venerable 
Theaphilus Lindsey, who, from the delicate and 
trying situation, in which he himself was long 
placed, as a beneficed Clergyman of the Church of 
England, and from his ultimate secession from its 
communion, was perhaps as competent as any one 
to give a just, and unbiassed decision upon the sub- 
ject. " It must be owned," says he,t " that he much 

• p. 18S. t Hiat View, Chap. v. p. 295. 


disserved the cause he had at heart, by his own con- 
tradictory and inconsistent conduct, at least what 
appeared so to others ; because, professing to believe 
the Father of Christ, and of mankind, to be the only 
true God, he continued to frequent those Christian 
assemblies, where two other persons, the Son, and 
the Holy Spirit, were each of them prayed unto 
severally, and worshiped together with the Supreme 
Father of all." 

The year 1665 will be ever memorable in the 
annals of England, as that of the Great Plague, 
which, in the course of nine months, carried off 
nearly a hundred thousand persons in the city ci 
London, and the neighbouring tovms and villages. 
Most of the wealthier citizens removed, with their 
families, into the country ; and, among the number, 
Mr. Firmin. But his biographer tells us, that he 
" left a kinsman in his house, with the order to 
relieve some poor weekly, and to give out stuff to 
employ them in making such commodities as they 
were wont. He foresaw that he should be hard 
put to it, to dispose of such an abimdance of com- 
modities as these poor people would work off, in 
so long time, for him only : but when he returned 
to London, a wealthy chapman (who was greatly 
pleased with his adventurous charity) bought an 
extraordinary quantity of those goods ; so that he 
incurred no loss, at that time, by employing the 

During this severe visitation, Mr. John Knowles 
was in London, where he exercised the office of a. 

• Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, p. 27. 


Unitarian teacher. In this capacity it seems not 
improbable that he succeeded Mr. Biddle : but he 
was imprisoned like him, and shared the same un- 
merited injuries.* He appears to have been one 
of the earliest sufferers under the Conventicle Act ; 
but was enjoying his liberty the year after the 
plague, at which time he is represented as convers- 
ing freely with the Clergy, among whom his learn- 
ing, and seriousness in religion, were well known.f 

Another Unitarian, who was one of Mr. Biddle's 
hearers, and whose youth screened him from the 
operation of the Act for suppressing Conventicles, 
died in the year of the plague, to which fatal dis- 
ease he probably fell a victim. His name was 
Nathaniel Stuckey;J and though he had not 
attained the age of sixteen at the time of his death, 
he left behind him a monument of his talent and 
industry, in a Latin translation of Mr. Biddle's 
" Twofold Catechism," and a short treatise " On 
the Death of Christ," in the same language. These 
were published together in a small 8vo. volume, 
A. D. 1665. 

In the same year issued from the press, in small 
4to., an English translation of John Crellius's cele- 
brated treatise, " De Uno Deo Patre." It purported 
to have been " printed in Kosmoburg, at the Sign of 
the Sun-beams, in the Year of our Lord MDCLXV." 
The name of the translator is not mentioned ; but 
it is probable, that the expense of printing was 
defrayed by Mr. Firmin, the great patron of Unita- 

• The Grounds and Occasions of the Controversy concerning the 
Unity of God: by a Divine of the Church of Englandj p. 16. 
t Ibid. X Vide Art. 344. 


rian publications in those times. " Kosmoburg" is 
supposed to have been a fictitious name for Afnster' 
dam.''^ It may, however, have been intended for 
London ; and the real publisher was probably Ki- 
chard Moone, at the Seven Stars, St. Paul's Church 
Yard, the well-known bookseller employed to usher 
into the world other works of a similar character 
and tendency, in the time of the Commonwealth. 
The title-page, some copies of which were printed 
in black, and others in red ink,f was as follows. 
" The Two Books of John Crellius Francus, touch- 
ing One God the Father, wherein many things also 
concerning the Nature of the Son of Gody and the 
Holy Spirit are discoursed of. Translated out of 
the Latin into English.'' 

Notwithstanding the awiul visitation of 1666; 
that year was not allowed to pass away, without 
another of those oppressive Acts, which followed 
each other in such quick succession, during the 
reign of Charles II. The parliament, which passed 
this Act, had adjourned to Oxford, to avoid the 
infection of the plague ; and hence the Act in ques- 
tion is sometimes called the Oxford Act. But the 
name, by which it is more commonly known, is the 
Five-mile Act^ because it restrains all Nonconformist 
Ministers, who have not declared their assent to the 
Book of Common Prayer, and taken a certain oath, 
from coming or being within ^ve miles of any city, 
town corporate, or borough that sends burgesses to 
parliament ; or within ^y^ miles of any parish, town, 

• Toulmin's Memoirs of the Life, Character, Sentiments and Writ- 
ings of FaustuR Socinus, p. 422. 

t Mon. Rep. Vol. III. pp. 14. 142. 


or place, wherein they have, since the Act of Obli- 
vion, been Parson, Vicar, or Lecturer, unless in 
passing the road ; under a penalty of forty pounds. 
This iniquitous Act further prohibits all persons 
whatever, who refuse to take the aforesaid oath, 
from teaching any public or private schools, or from 
taking any boarders, or tablers, to be taught or in- 
structed, under the same penalty. 

This law bore with peculiar hardship upon the 
ejected Ministers ; and if its provisions could have 
been fully carried out, it would not only have had 
the efifect of silencing that generation of Noncon- 
formist Preachers, but would have prevented them 
from devoting themselves to the business of instruc- 
tion, (the only employment, besides that of preach- 
ing, for which their education and habits qualified 
them,) and consequently from training up a succes- 
sion of young men, to take their own places, among 
the Dissenters of the next generation. These were, 
in fact, the main objects of the law. But many of 
these brave men set it at defiance ; and determined 
to incur its cruel penalties, rather than abandon 
what they felt to be the line of their duty. Non- 
conformity, which had before found its chief strong- 
holds in the cities and large towns, now began to 
diffuse itself far and wide over the country: and 
though the keepers of seminaries, for the education 
of Dissenting youths, were frequently indicted imder 
the Five'tnile Act^ many of them lived to see better 
times, and had the satisfaction, in their old age, of 
witnessing a succession of young men, who had 
been trained up under their own roofs, called to fill 
important stations in the ministry, and in civil life. 



They had seen enough of the evils of establishments, 
and of their utter inefficacy to secure uniformity of 
opinion ; and from that time forward, the Presby- 
terians, grown wise by experience, abandoned for 
erer the idea of regaining their former ascendancy, 
and ultimately became the most strenuous advocates 
of religious freedom, unfettered by creeds, and arti- 
cles, and forms of Church Government. The natu- 
ral consequence of this change was the introduction 
of a more liberal tone of theology among their de- 
scendants, a gradual departure from the tenets of 
Calvinism, and an almost imperceptible transition, 
from Trinitarianism, through the various interme- 
diate shades of opinion, down to simple Unitarian- 
ism. So complete, indeed, has this change been, 
that the great body of English Unitarians in the 
present day, are the only legitimate representatives 
of the Presbyterians of the reign of Charles 11. 

No sooner had the ravages of the plague begun 
to abate, than the inhabitants of London were visit- 
ed by another awful calamity. The Great Fire 
broke out on the 2nd of September, 1666, and, 
within three or four days, consumed thirteen thou- 
sand, two himdred dwelling houses; eighty-nine 
Churches, including the Cathedral of St. Paul's; 
and many public structures, schools, libraries and 
stately edifices.* The loss which the city of London 
sustained by this fire was estimated at ten millions 
sterling. Mr. Firmin's house in Lombard Street 
was destroyed ; but the great mass of his property 
escaped the conflagration. His first care, after the 

• NedPa Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. IV. p. 404. 


extinction of the fire, was to make a permanent 
provision for the poor. He built a warehouse on 
the banks of the Thames, for the reception of com 
and coals, to be sold to the poor at reasonable and 
moderate rates, in seasons of scarcity.* Nor was 
this the only good arising out of the terrible evil, 
which had befallen the citizens of London ; for the 
Court Prelates began to take the alarm, and durst 
not, for a time, prosecute the Nonconformist Preach- 
ers so severely as before.f In the year of the Great 
Fire, Christopher Crellius J visited England, and 
was kindly received by the Unitarians of this coun- 
try. He was at that time an exile, and a widower 
with four motherless children. Mrs. Stuckey, the 
mother of Nathan. Stuckey, offered to take charge 
of two of these children, — a son and a daughter ; 
and the offer was duly appreciated by their father, 
who did not however accept it unconditionally, but, 
on his return into Silesia, made it known to his » 
Mends, and was urged by them to avail himself of 
it He accordingly brought over the two children 
in 1668, and consigned them to the care of their 
kind protectress. Samuel Crellius,§ who himself 
appears to have been the boy of whom Mrs. Stuckey 
took charge, has given an interesting account of his 
&ther's two journeys to England, in a letter to a 
Mend, for the preservation of which we are indebted 
to Mr. Fred. Adrian Vander Kemp, of the United 
States of America.! 

• Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, pp. 27, 28. 
t Near 8 Hiat of the Puritans, Vol. IV. p. 405. 
X Vide Art. 321. § Vide AH. 358. 

II Appendix, No. xviii. 


The year 1667 was memorable for the fidl cS 
the Earl of Clarendon ; after which. Nonconformity 
about London began to be connived at, and people 
went openly to their Meeting-houses without fear. 
The King moved for a general toleration ;♦ and a 
project was formed by Lord Keeper Bridgeman, 
Lord Chief Justice Hale, and some of the maxe 
liberal dignitaries of the Church, for a comprehen- 
sion of such Nonconformists as could be brought 
within the pale of the Church, by judicious and 
well-timed efforts, and for a toleration of the rest 
But this project was blasted by the intrigues of the 
Court Bishops, f 

The Quakers, who, at their first appearance, had 
astonished all sober-minded men by the violence of 
their proceedings, and the indiscriminate attacks 
which they made upon existing opinions and insti- 
tutions, in the course of a few years became, and 
* have ever since remained, a quiet, orderly, and 
peculiarly estimable body of Christians. To this 
change William Penn contributed not a little by 
his writings, and his extensive personal influence. 
But although he and others, who felt themselves 
called upon, as occasion required, to defend the 
common principles of their body, did so, as far as 
such principles existed, and were understood by the 
leading Quakers themselves, no systematic work on 
the subject was published, till Robert Barclay wrote 
his celebrated "Apology ;" and as that work has 
ever since been considered a standard one, it is 
natural to look to it for a statement of the doctrinal 

• NeaFs Hist of the Puritans, Vol. IV. p. 410. 

t Pp. 413, 414. Bumees Hist of his own Time, Vol. L p. 259. 


opinions of the early Quakers. But it is a remark- 
able fact, that Barclay, though he writes fiilly on 
the Quaker doctrine of the Spirit, and spiritual in- 
fluence, nowhere makes the slightest allusion to the 
doctrine of the Trinity.* William Penn attacked 
the notion of three persons in one God, and came 
out at last with a species of Sabellianism ; and it 
is certain, whatever may be said or written to the 
contrary by the leaders of the sect in our own times, 
that Isaac Pennington, John Crook, and the early 
Quakers generally, not excepting even Robert Bar- 
clay himself, did not believe in the Athanasian doc- 
trine of the Trinity. 

In 1668, appeared " The Sandy Foundation sha^ 
ken : or, those so generally believed and applauded 
Doctrines of One God, subsisting in three distinct 
and separate Persons; the Impossibility of God's 
pardoning Sinners, without a plenary Satisfaction ; 
the Justification of impure Persons by an impu- 
tative Righteousness; refuted from Authority of 
Scripture Testimonies and Right Reason : by Wil- 
liam Perm, a Builder on that Foundation which 
cannot be moved." 4to. The circumstances, which 
led to the publication of this tract, are fiilly detailed 
inClarkson's "Life of Penn,"fand maybe seen briefly 
summed up by an intelligent Quaker lady, in the 
''Monthly Repository" for 1822,J as follows. "Two 
persons of the Presbyterian congregation in Spital- 
fields, went one day to the Meeting-house of the 
Quakers, merely to learn what their religious doc- 

• ClarksofCa Portraiture of Quakerism, Vol. II. p. 315. 
t Vol. L p. 36. X Vol. XVII. pp. 271, 272. 

VOL. I. Q 


trines were. It happened that they were converted 
there. This news being carried to Thomas Vincent, 
their Pastor, it so stirred him up, that he not only 
used his influence to prevent the converts from 
attending there again, but he decried the doctrines 
of the Quakers as damnable. This slander caused 
William Penn and George Whitehead, an eminent 
Minister among the Quakers, to demand an oppor- 
tunity to defend themselves publicly. This, with a 
good deal of demur, was granted, and the Presby- 
terian Meeting-house fixed upon for the purpose. 
When the time came, the Quakers presented them- 
selves at the door, but Vincent, to secure a majority, 
had filled a great part of the Meeting-house with 
his own hearers, so that there was but little room 
for them. Penn and Whitehead, however, with a 
few others of the Society, pushed their way in: they 
had scarcely done this, when they heard proclaimed 
aloud, * that the Quakers held damnable doctrines.' 
Immediately George Whitehead shewed himself, 
and began to explain aloud what the principles of 
the Society really were: but Vincent interrupted 
him, contending that it would be a better way of 
proceeding for himself to examine the Quakers as 
to their own creed. Vincent, having carried his 
point, began by asking the Quakers whether they 
owned one Godhead subsisting in three distinct and 
separate persons. Penn and Whitehead both as- 
serted that this, delivered as it was by Vincent, 
was no ' scriptural doctrine.' — Clarkson, after going 
more at large into the subject, adds, * it will not be 
necessary to detail the arguments brought forward 


in this controversy, in which nothing was settled ;' 
but he describes the great intemperance betrayed 
by several of the Presbyterians, so that it was im- 
possible to obtain a hearing. This then was the 
cause for William Penn's writing ' the Sandy Foun- 
dation shaken,' which gave offence, from its being 
entirely misunderstood." 

At the time of this disputation, Mr. Firmin, and 
some other Unitarians, were much pleased with the 
views of these two zealous and able champions of 
Quakerism; because, as far as those views were 
developed in the course of the discussion, they 
exactly coincided with those professed by Mr. Fir- 
min and his friends. The disputants, however, were 
not aware, that Mr. Firmin and his friends were 
followers of Mr. Biddle. When they discovered 
this, the secret of the admiration, with which they 
had inspired their new acquaintance, became at once 
apparent ; and was foimd to be " an implicit vindi- 
cation of one of their principles," namely, that which 
denies the existence of one God in three distinct 
and separate persons. This involved the Quakers, 
as a body, in the charge of Socinianism, of which 
ihey were openly accused from the pulpit ; and the 
zeal, with which their cause was pleaded by the 
Unitarians, tended not a little to strengthen the 
common report. 

On the publication of "The Sandy Foundation 
shaken," it was seen, that the author agreed with 
the followers of Mr. Biddle, in denying, not only the 
commonly-received doctrine of the Trinity, but those 
of Satisfaction, and Imputed Righteousness. Mr. 
Firmin, therefore, was disposed to regard the views 



of Perm as substantially identical with his own ;♦ and 
such was the general impression. Their publici^ 
tion, indeed, excited so much attention, and gave 
so much offence to the leading dignitaries of the 
Church, that a warrant was issued by Lord Arling- 
ton, Principal Secretary of State, for the apprehen- 
sion of Penn ; and he was committed to the Tower. 
Here he was kept under close confinement, and his 
friends were not allowed to visit him. When he 
had been in prison some time, his servant brought 
him word, that the Bishop of London, Dr. Hench- 
man, had resolved that he should either publicly 
recant, or linger out the rest of his life in prison ; 
on which he is said to have made the following 
remarks. " All is well : I wish they had told me 
so before, since the expecting of a release put a stop 
to some business. Thou mayest tell my father, who 
I know will ask thee, these words ; that my prison 
shall be my grave, before I will budge a jot ; for I 
owe my conscience to no mortal man ; I have no 
need to fear. God will make amends for all. They 
are mistaken in me ; I value not their threats, nor 
resolutions ; for they shall know I can weary out 
their malice and peevishness ; and in me shall they 
all behold a resolution above fear ; conscience above 
cruelty ; and a baffle put to all their designs, by the 
spirit of patience, the companion of all the tribulated 
flock of the blessed Jesus, who is the author and 
finisher of the faith that overcomes the world, yea, 
death and hell too. Neither great nor good things 
were ever attained without loss and hardships. He 

♦ A Key opening the Way to every Capacity, &c. by W. Penn^ 1692; 
apud Mon. Rep. Vol. XII. pp. 348. 479, 480. 


that would reap and not labour, must faint with the 
wind, and perish in disappointments ; but an hair 
of my head shall not fall, without the Providence of 
my Father, that is over all."* 

While Perm continued in the Tower, he was not 
so entirely shut out from the world, as to be igno- 
rant of the reports, which were circulated to his 
prejudice ; and this led him to publish an apology, 
under the title of " Innocency with her Open Face," 
which appeared in the beginning of the year 1669. 
His biographer says, " In this Apology he so suc- 
cessfully vindicated himself, that soon after the 
publication of it, he was discharged from his impri- 
sonment, which had been of about seven months' 
continuance." But this statement is calculated to 
mislead; for though Penn's release followed the 
publication of this apology at no long interval, the 
one was not the cause of the other, and indeed had 
not the remotest connexion with it. His liberation 
was owing to the intercession of the Duke of York, 
afterwards James II., as appears from a letter, written 
by Penn himself to W. Popple, Esq., Oct. 24th, 
1688, in which he alludes to a particular favour, 
conferred upon him by this King, in getting him 
released out of the Tower of Loudon, in 1669.-J' 

The object of the apologetical tract, entitled, 
" Innocency with her Open Face," was not, we are 
told, to disown, or explain away what he had written 
in " The Sandy Foundation shaken ;" but to vindi- 

• A Portraiture of Primitiye Quakerism by William Penn : with a 
modem Sketch of reputed Orthodoxy and real Intolerance by Katcliff 
Monthly Meeting. 1812. Pref. p. vi. 

t Ubi supra, pp. vii, viii. 


cate himself from the aspersions which had been 
cast upon him, as the author of that work, and to 
refute the misrepresentations to which it had given 
rise. Penn was, in truth, a Unitarian in no other 
sense, than as he was a Sabellian, which has been 
defined ^^ a Unitarian in a mist ;" and the principal 
object of his apology was to set the world right on 
that point. " I am constrained," says he, " for the 
sake of the simple-hearted, to publish to the world 
of our faith in Grod, Christ and the Holy Spirit: 
We do believe in one Holy God Almighty, who is 
an eternal spirit, the creator of all things, and in 
one Lord Jesus Christ, his only Son, and express 
image of his substance, who took upon him flesh, 
and was in the world ; and in life, doctrine, miracles, 
death, resurrection, ascension and mediation, per- 
fectly did and does continue to do the will of God, 
to whose holy life, power, mediation and blood, we 
only ascribe our sanctification, justification and per- 
fect salvation. And we believe in one Holy Spirit 
that proceeds from the Father and the Son, a mea- 
sure of which is given to all to profit with ; and he 
that has one has all, for * these three are one,' who 
is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, Grod 
over all, blessed for ever. Amen." 

After alluding to the misconceptions, which had 
prevailed respecting the object of his " Sandy Foun- 
dation shaken," he passes a high eulogium upon 
Socinus, which it is unnecessary to quote in the 
present connexion, but which will not be forgotten 
in our account of that excellent man, and illustrious 

• Vide Art, 90. 


When Penn had more fiilly explained his own 
Tiews, Mr. Firmin chained him with an abandon- 
ment of the principles, which he had advocated in 
his " Sandy Foundation shaken ;" and this led to a 
breach of the friendship which had sprung up be- 
tween them.* Nor was Mr. Firmin singular in the 
opinion, that the views developed in the second 
tract were irreconcileable with those propounded, 
and advocated in the first. But Penn, in his letter 
to Dr. CoUenges, a Clergyman, endeavoured to vin- 
dicate himself from this charge of inconsistency. 

" The matter insisted upon, relating to us on this 
occasion," says Penn,f "is, that we, in common 
with Socinians, do not believe Christ to be the 
eternal Son of God, and I am brought in proof of the 
charge. *The Sandy Foundation Shaken' touched 
not upon this, but Trinity, separate personality, &c. 
I have two things to do ; first, to shew I expressed 
nothing that divested Christ of his divinity ; next, 
declare my true meaning and faith in the matter. 
I am to suppose that when any adversary goes about 
to prove his charge against me out of my own book, 
he takes that which is most to his purpose. Now 
let us see what thou hast taken out of that book, 
so evidently demonstrating the truth of thy asser- 
tion. I find nothing more to thy purpose than this ; 
that I deny a Trinity of separate persons in the 
godhead. Ergo, what ? Ergo, William Penn denies 
Christ to be the only true God ; or that Christ, the 
Son of God, is from everlasting to everlasting, God. 
Did ever man yet hear such argumentation ? Doth 

• Mon. Rep. Vol. XII. p. 348, No. 12. 

t Works, Vol. I. p. 163, as quoted in Mon. Rep. Vol. XVII. p. 468. 


Dr. Collenges know logic no better? But (which 
is more condemnable in a Minister) hath he learnt 
charity so ill ? Are not Trinity and Personality one 
thing, and Christ's being the eternal Son of God 
another? Must I therefore necessarily deny his 
Divinity, because I justly reject the Popish School 
Personality ? This savoiirs of such weakness or dis- 
ingenuity, as can never stand with the credit of so 
great a scribe to be guilty of. Hast thou never 
read of Paulus Samosatensis, that denied the divi- 
nity of Christ, and Macedonius that oppugned the 
deity of the Holy Ghost ? And dost thou in good 
earnest think they were one in judgment with Sa- 
bellius, that only rejected the imaginary personality 
of those times ; who at the same instant owned and 
confessed to the Eternity and Godhead of Christ 
Jesus our Lord ? It is manifest, then, that though 
I may deny the Trinity of separate persons in one 
Godhead, yet I do not consequentially deny the Deity 
of Jesus Christ." 

The truth is, that Penn, and the early Quakers, 
professed to acknowledge Christ, in what they called 
" his double appearance^'' or, as they more commonly 
expressed it, "in the flesh," and "in the spirit" 
He was the man Christ Jesus, inasmuch as he was 
" of the seed of Abraham :" but in the spirit, he 
was " God over all^ blessed for ever.'' In the former 
relation, they regarded him as a person: in the 
latter, as " a divine principle of light and life in the 
soul." Penn complained, that the want of this dis- 
tinction, which he represented as both " necessary 
and evident," led the adversaries of the Quakers into 
frequent mistakes about their " belief, and applica- 


tion of the Scriptures of truth, concerning Christ in 
that twofold capacity."* 

Some writers in our own times have represented 
the early Quakers as believing more, and others 
less than they actually did. One thing, however, 
is certain. They agreed with the Unitarians in 
rejecting the doctrine of the Athanasian Trinity; 
and their mode of attacking this doctrine was simi- 
lar to that adopted by the Unitarians. But at this 
point the agreement ceased ; and all beyond, as far 
as the Quakers were concerned, was neither more 
nor less than the doctrine of Sabellius, expressed in 
the peculiar phraseology of Quakerism. 

The Conventicle Act, which had been passed in 
1664, was to remain in force only three years after 
the next ensuing parliament; and this term had 
now expired. But in 1669, it was renewed, without 
any limitation as to time ; and two stringent clauses 
were introduced, the object of which was to guard 
against an evasion of its penalties. This Act, no 
doubt, had some effect in preventing the diffusion of 
TJnitarianism from the pulpit ; but the press teemed 
with Unitarian publications, which led Andrew 
Marvel to pen the following passage. " The next 
thing is more directly levell'd at J. O. for having in 
some later book used those words, ' We cannot con- 
form to Arminianism or Socinianism on the one 
hand, or Popery on the other.' What the Answerer 
meant by those words, I concern not my self Onely 
I cannot but say, That there is a very great neglect 
somewhere, wheresoever the inspection of books is 
lodged, that at least the Socinian books are tole- 

• Mon. Rep. Vol. XII. p. 481. 


rated, and sell as openly as the Bible."^ Whether 
this was written in jest, or in eamest^f the &ct 
itself is a very significant one, and was so considered 
by the orthodox Dissenters of the time; for Dr. 
John Owen J one of the leaders among the Independ- 
ents, and the Bev. John TombeSj B. 2>., whom Wood 
calls ^^ the C!oryphfieus of the Anabaptists," a man 
of great learning, and one of the most able dispu- 
tants of that day,:^ both attacked the Unitarians in 
the year 1669. The work of the former was enti- 
tled, ^' A Brief Declaration and Vindication of the 
Doctrine of the Trinity. London, 1669," 12mo. ; 
and that of the latter, '^ Emanuel, or Grod-man : A 
Treatise wherein the Doctrine of the first Nicene 
and Chalcedon Councils, concerning the Two Nati- 
vities of Christ, is asserted against the lately vented 
Socinian Doctrine. London, 1669," 8vo. 

Li 1673, an Act was passed, for preventing the 
dangers, which might happen from Popish recu- 
sants. It was called the Test Act; and enacted, 
among other things, That every person who should 
be admitted into any office, civil or military, or 
receive any pay, by reason of any patent or grant, 
or have command or place of trust, or be admitted 
into any service in the Royal household, should 
receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, accord- 
ing to the usage of the Church of England, (within 
three months after his admittance,) in some public 

* The Rehearsal Transpros'd : or, Animadversions upon a late Book, 
entituled, " A Preface, shewing what Grounds there are of Fears and 
Jealousies of Popery." London, 1672, 12mo., p. 172. 

t Mon. Rep. Vol. V. p. 504; cf. p. 26. 

X Athen. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 559. 



Church, upon some Lord's-day, immediately after 
divine service and sermon : any person taking office 
without this qualification, and being thereon law- 
fiiUy convicted, was disabled from suing or using 
any action in law, from being guardian of any child, 
or executor, or capable of any legacy, or deed of 
gift, and forfeited the sum of five hundred pounds, 
to be recovered by him, or them, that should sue for 
the same. This law was more particularly intended 
(such at least was the pretext for passing it) to 
exclude Soman Catholics from offices of trust ; and 
on that account, the Protestant Dissenters of those 
days were not unfavourable to it, trusting to some 
subsequent measure of relief, by which they might 
themselves be protected from its operation.* But 
they paid dearly for their acquiescence; for the 
Test Act continued in force till the reign of Wm. 
IV., and was frequently put into operation against 
themselves. Thus, in the course of ten years, laws 
were made, which it has required more than a cen- 
tury and a half to expunge from the Statute-book ; 
and the Act of Uniformity, which has now become 
a mere dead letter, stiU remains a blot and a dis- 
grace upon English legislation. The only excuse, 
which can be made for the conduct of the Dissent- 
ers, as regards the Test Act, is, that they under- 
stood the principles of religious liberty little better 
than their oppressors. In that age, indeed, Chris- 
tians of all denominations were more or less intole- 
rant of each other's opinions ; and it has only been 
by slow and imperceptible degrees, and by a severe, 
but salutary discipline, that any of them have learnt 

* NeaPs Hist, of the Puritans, Vol. IV. pp. 468, 459. 


to respect and encourage in others the exercise of 
that freedom of thought, which they are so eager 
to claim for themselves. 

That there were individuals, however, even in 
those times, who well understood, and nobly advo- 
cated the principles of religious liberty, is a fact 
which must not be overlooked. Such was John 
Milton, who taught, that the power exercised by 
Popes, Councils, Bishops and Presbyters, is to be 
classed among the rankest, and most odious of tyran- 
nies; and in whose view all the impositions of 
Ordinances, and Ceremonies, and Doctrines, are an 
imwarrantable invasion of the liberty with which 
Christ has made us free. This able champion of 
Christian truth, who had filled the office of Secretary 
to Cromwell, and to whose advice and influence 
some of the redeeming acts, which marked the Pro- 
tectorate of that extraordinary man may not unrea- 
sonably be attributed, died, in very reduced circum- 
stances, at Bunhill, near London, in the year after 
the passing of the Test Act, and in the sixty-seventh 
of his own age. He left behind him " A Treatise 
on Christian Doctrine," which, after lying about a 
century and a half amidst a mass of other papers, 
in one of the government offices, was lately brought 
to light ; and in which he has imreservedly avowed 
himself an Antitrinitarian, and with great force of 
argument defended the strict, and proper unity of 

In those times of bigotry and intolerance, there 
were not a few men, of first-rate eminence in literar 
ture, who became utterly weary of the evils of secta- 

• Vide Art 345. 


rianism ; and, leaving the Episcopalians and Noncon- 
formists to settle their disputes among themselves, 
withdrevir altogether from the communion of reli- 
gious bodies, and worshiped God in the secrecy of 
their own hearts. This was the case with Milton, 
of whom Dr. Johnson says,* " He has not associated 
himself with any denomination of Protestants : we 
know rather what he was not, than what he was. 
He was not of the Chiirch of Rome : he was not of 
the Church of England. — ^Milton grew old without 
any visible worship. In the distribution of his 
hours, there was no hour of prayer. — ^His studies 
and meditations were an habitual prayer." The 
illustrious Algernon Sidney was an enemy, like 
MUton, to all religious establishments; and like 
him, too, kept aloof from all Christian societies. He 
appears also to have resembled Milton in his doc- 
trinal views, as far, at least, as regards the rejection 
of the Trinity. ** I have reason to believe," says 
the late George Dyer, " that the man whose writings 
have served the cause of liberty more than [those of] 
any writer in this country, was an Unitarian Chris- 
tian, I mean the injured, immortal Sidney. — ^Though 
he was no friend to religious establishments, nor 
even to public worship, conceiving * religion to be 
a kind of divine philosophy in the soul ;' yet it is 
evident, from several parts of his Discourses on 
Government, that he believed Christianity, "f 
During the latter years of the reign of Charles 

• Life of MUton, Works. London, 1820. Vol. IX. pp. 138, 139. 

t An Inquiry into the Nature of Subscription to the Thirty-nine 
Articles, &c., 2nd Ed., by Gemrge Dyer, A.B,, late of Emanuel College, 
Cambridge. Appendix iL p. 400. See also Chap. vii. pp. 109, 110. 


II., many Arian and Socinian works were published 
in HolWd, copies of which were industriously dis* 
persed in England. They were written, for the 
most part, by men of learning, who, on the expul- 
sion of the Polish Socinians from their native coun- 
try, had taken refuge in Holland. None was more 
zealous in this way than Christopher Sandius the 
younger, whose views were decidedly Arian, and 
who confidently appealed to the voice of Christian 
antiquity, as fitvouring those views. The Socinians 
paid but little regard to the testimony of ancient 
Christian writers. Their appeal was generally made 
to Scripture and reason ; and they had some con- 
troversies with the Arians, who blamed them for 
depreciating the testimony of the early feithers, 
which, as they contended, was decidedly in fEivour 
of Arianism. There were also, at this time, in En- 
gland, many Divines belonging to the Established 
Church, who, in defending the doctrine of the Tri- 
nity, had felt themselves constrained to admit, that 
the Ante-Nicene Fathers had sometimes expressed 
themselves incautiously, of which admission the 
opponents of that doctrine were disposed to take 
advantage. Under these circumstances, the Rev. 
George Bull, afterwards Bishop of St. David's, com- 
posed his " Defensio Fidei Nicaenae," which, as his 
biographer informs us,* was finished in the year 
1680: but as the publication of it waa delayed, 
jfrom several unavoidable causes, till 1685, our fur- 
ther notice of it must be deferred, till we come to 
the reign of James II. 

• Nelsan'i Life of Bishop Bull, Sect. 1. p. 280, 2nd Ed. 


In 1680, we also find the Rev. George Ashwell, 
B. D., complaining that the books of the Socinians 
were everywhere dispersed, and read with avidity 
by young students, in spite of the Canon of 164:0 ; 
that some of them were translated into English; 
and that there were not a few Clergymen, who, both 
in their sermons and their published writings, too 
plainly shewed their partiality for the Socinian doc- 
trines. Seeing this, he tells his patron, the Bishop 
of Lincoln, that he has been led to publish a Dis- 
sertation "De Socino et Socinianismo." In this 
work, which was intended to form part of a much 
larger one, to be entitled " De Judice Controversi- 
arum, et Catholicae Veritatis Regula," he traces the 
origin of Socinianism ; gives an account of its lead- 
ing tenets, and the arguments by which they are 
supported ; and enters into a brief examination and 
exposure of their alleged unsoundness. The work 
is partly historical, and partly polemical. It com- 
mences with a lengthened biographical notice of 
Leelius and Faustus Socinus, and does ample justice 
to the genius, learning and character of both, but 
more particularly of the latter, the account of whom 
is summed up in the following terms. " Such and 
so great was the author and patron of this sect, in 
whom all those qualities, which excite the admira- 
tion, and attract the regard of men, were united ; 
so that he charmed, as it were, by a kind of fascina^ 
tion, all with whom he conversed, and left on the 
minds of all strong impressions of admiration and 
love. He so excelled in the loftiness of his genius, 
and the suavity of his disposition ; such was the 
strength of his reasoning, and the force of his elo- 


quence ; so signal were the virtues which he dis- 
played in the sight of all, and which he either 
possessed, or counterfeited in an extraordinary de- 
gree; so great were his natural endowments, and 
so exemplary was his life ; that he appeared formed, 
as it were, to captivate the affections of mankind ; 
nor is it any matter of surprise, that he misled great 
numbers, and drew them over to his own party. 
What Augustin formerly said of Faustus the Mani- 
chsean, may therefore not unsuitably or improperly 
be applied to Faustus Socinus, that he was ' Mag- 
nus Diaboli Laqueus,' the Devil's great noose, ex 

It is a remarkable &ct, and one which cannot be 
overlooked in the present connexion, that England, 
in which so many tyrannical laws had recently been 
enacted against every species of Nonconformity, 
should at this very time have been almost the only 
country of Europe, in which the Calvinists, who 
had fled from persecution in France and Poland, 
could find an asylum ; and that the individual to 
whom they were indebted, above all others, for the 
hospitality which they experienced, should himself 
have been a Unitarian. But so it was. The per- 
secuted French Protestants came over into England 
in great numbers, in the years 1680 and 1681 ; and 
Mr. Firmin was among the most active in promoting 
a subscription for them. He was of opinion, that, 
of all objects of charity, those who suffered for con- 

* De Socino et Socinianisino Dissertatio : Authore Oto. AshveBo, 
S. S. Th. Bacc. et Eccles. Anglican. Presbytero. Oxon. 16S0. Sto. 
p. IS, § 14. 


science sake had the strongest claims upon the 
sympathy of their Christian hrethren. It was in- 
different to him, whether the opinions of such per- 
sons coincided with his own, or not. If they acted 
up to their convictions, and gave such proofe of 
their sincerity as could not he questioned, they 
always found in him a warm and generous friend. 

On the arrival of these unfortunate victims of 
persecution in the English metropolis, Mr. Firmin's 
first care was, how to provide house-room for such 
multitudes, in a city, where lodgings were as costly 
as provisions. He suggested, that they might he 
accommodated in the Pest-house, a large building 
which had been used in the time of the Plague, but 
was then fortunately unoccupied. The suggestion 
was at once adopted by the Lord Mayor, and Court 
of Aldermen. In this spacious and commodious 
building, some hundreds of these innocent sufferers 
found shelter, and a home; and Mr. Firmin was 
made the almoner of the British pubhc, in reheving 
their wants, and providing them with food, clothing, 
fuel, and suitable employment. In 1682, the same 
benevolent individual was mainly instrumental in 
establishing a hnen manufacture for them at Ipswich, 
his native town ; and for some time he paid the rent 
of the Meeting-house, in which they were accus- 
tomed to assemble for public worship. Briefs were 
granted for their rehef by Charles II., in 1681; by 
James II., in 1686 and 1687 ; and by William III., 
in 1693: and each time, the larger portion of the 
money, collected under these briefs, passed through* 
the hands of Mr. Firmin, so great was the opinion 

VOL. I. R 


of his judgment, and so general the confidence re- 
posed in his integrity .♦ 

Nor was he less active in procuring relief for the 
members of the Reformed Churches of Poland, when 
they were driven into exile, and many of them 
sought refuge in England. These very persons had 
combined with the Catholics some years before, in 
order to effect the expulsion of the Unitarians from 
the Polish territories; a catastrophe which might 
easily have been averted, had any of the Protestant 
Deputies pleaded their cause in the Diet. But reli- 
gious prejudice restrained them from doing this 
simple act of justice ; and in little more than twenty 
years afterwards, the Protestant party, weakened by 
the loss of the Unitarian interest, fell an easy prey 
to the machinations of the Jesuits.f Yet, when it 
came to their turn to be the sufferers, and they were 
condemned to share the same fate as the Unitarians, 
Mr. Firmin exerted himself with his accustomed 
liberality on their behalf, and in 1681 assisted in 
procuring contributions for their relief J The cha- 
racter of Mr. Firmin, as we have already seen, was 
not without its weak points; but there are few 
instances of the exercise of a truly Christian spirit 
upon record, at all comparable with this. Amidst 
wide diversities of religious opinion, he neither for- 
got the apostolic precept,§ nor failed to act upon it ; 
" not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, 
but contrariwise blessing." 

• The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, pp. 51 — 54. 

t Vide Art, 153. J Life of T. Firmin, pp. 25, 26. 

§ 1 Pet. iii. 8, 9. 


It was well known, before the accession of James 
n., that he was a member of the Catholic Church ; 
and as a bill had been more than once brought into 
Parliament, though not passed into a law, for the 
purpose of excluding him from the succession to the 
throne, on the ground of his religious opinions, all 
parties were desirous of learning, on what principles 
the government of the country was to be conducted. 
At the first meeting of the Privy Council, he told 
the members, that " as he would never depart from 
any branch of the prerogative, so he would not in- 
vade any man's property, but would preserve the 
government, as by law established, in Church and 
State."* This declaration was regarded as one of 
good omen by the clergy: but it remained to be 
seen, whether it would be ftdfiUed, or broken. 

On the 27th of May, 1685, the Parliament pre- 
sented an address to the King, requesting him to 
take measures for putting into execution the penal 
laws against the Dissenters. This led to a revival 
of the cruel and exterminating policy of the pre- 
ceding reign ; and the persecution of the Dissenters 
was carried on with the utmost rigour, and without 
the slightest abatement, during the remainder of that 
year, and the whole of the next.f For a time the 
government and the clergy acted together with won- 
derful harmony : but when it was foimd, that Catho- 
lics only were preferred to posts of honour in the 
state, and that the object of the King, in his 
attempts to put down the Dissenters, was to pave 
the way for the destruction of the Established 

• NeoTB Hist of the Puritans, VoL IV. p. 536. t ?• ^^« 



Church, the eyes of the clergy were opened, and 
they soon began to sound the alarm. They were 
prohibited from preaching against Popery, because 
it was the King's religion ; but they began to write 
against it very freely, and tried to stimulate the 
Dissenters to do the same. But a request of this 
nature came with a very ill grace from a party, who 
had been labouring for years, with all the power of 
the government and the Church on their side, to 
compass the destruction of the Dissenters. Besides, 
some hopes of liberty had been held out to the Dis- 
senters by the King ; and as they had nothing to 
lose in the struggle between him and the Church, 
they determined to remain passive. 

The Quakers, in their homely style of address, 
had said to James, on his accession, — ^" W.e are come 
to testify our sorrow for the death of our good friend 
Charles, and our joy for thy being made our go- 
vernor. We are told thou art not of the persuasion 
of the Church of England, no more than we ; there- 
fore we hope thou wilt grant us the same liberty 
which thou alio west thyself; which doing we wish 
thee all manner of happiness."* The time had now 
arrived, when the King seemed disposed to act upon 
this advice ; and if he had pursued his object by 
legal and constitutional means, the Dissenters would 
have had reason to be grateftd to him. But instead 
of this, he published a Declaration of Indulgence 
on his own responsibility; and the Dissenters, though 
thankfrd for the liberty thus offered them, disap- 
proved of the dispensing power assumed by the King 
in granting it. This disapprobation was signified 

• Pp. 636, 637. 


him through some of his courtiers, on which he 

said to have complained of the Dissenters, as a 
jrverse set of men, whom it was impossible to 
ease. Some few Dissenters, from an excess of joy 

the unexpected recovery of their liberty, were 
ad to accept it upon any terms; and the boon 
EU9 the more welcome to others, because the same 
ind which bestowed it was, at the same time, em- 
oyed in humbling the Church party, who had so 
uelly persecuted them. But the more influential 
issenters, acting from higher and more disinter- 
red motives, reluctantly accepted, and would, if 
ley could, have declined the treacherous gift.* 
3veral well-written pamphlets were printed and 
spersed, to convince the nation, that the King's 
)ject, in issuing a Declaration of Indulgence, was 
I give power to the Catholics, under the specious 
retext of favouring the Dissenters. Mr. Firmin, 
ho saw through the flimsy disguise, was indefati- 
able in promoting the circulation of these pam- 
blets; and expended large sums of money in 
etting them printed, and placed in the hands of 
le people.f 

At length, when James had stretched the prero- 
ative beyond all legitimate bounds, it was deter- 
dned, by a few patriotic individuals, to call in 
>reign aid, for the purpose of ridding the nation of 
is odious tyranny. The Earls of Devonshire and 
tenby. Lord Delamere, Sir Scroop Howe, John 
TArcy, Esq., and a few other persons of rank and 
ifluence in Derbyshire, and the neighbouring coun- 

• Bp. BumefB Hiat of his own Time, VoL I. pp. 701—703. 714. 736. 
t Life of T. Firmin, pp. 61, 62. 



ties, are said to have taken the lead in this move- 
ment.* The individual, upon whom they fixed their 
hopes, was William, Prince of Orange, who, from 
his entrance into public life, had been immersed in 
enterprises and poUtical intrigues. This Prince now 
clearly saw, that James had lost the affection of his 
subjects. He obtained regular information of the 
discontents, which prevailed throughout the king- 
dom ; and by appearing to discourage, stiU further 
increased them, hopinglt length tols;K>ssess James 
of the crown, and place it upon his own brow. His 
claims were strengthened by the matrimonial anion 
which he had formed with the Princess Mary, eldest 
daughter of James ; and it was a fortunate circum- 
stance for him, that the wishes of the principal 
nobility and gentry coincided with the projects of 
his own ambition.f When this scheme was made 
known to some of the leading citizens of London, 
Mr. Firmin entered into it with great cordiality. J 
He not only approved of it, but did all in his power 
to forward the enterprise ; and when it was brought 
to a successful issue, no one rejoiced more than he 
at that Revolution, which freed England for ever 
from the arbitrary sway of the Stuart family, and 
gave to the nation a constitutional monarch, in the 
person of William HI. 

Mr. Firmin appears to have been too actively 
engaged in politics, during the short reign of James 
II., to pay much attention to the spread of Unitap 

* Deering*s History of Nottingham, p. 260. Bishop KewM^B Me- 
moirs of the Family of Cavendish. 

t Bp. Bumefs Hist of his own Time, A.D. 168S,jMwmt. 
X Life of Firmin, p. 62. 


rianism. He caused, however, to be written, " A 
Brief History of the Unitarians, called also Soci- 
nians," which was first printed in the year 1687, 
8vo. ; and of which a second edition, in 4to., ap- 
peared in 1691.* It was without any author's or 
printer's name ; but tradition assigns the authorship 
to the Rev. Stephen Nye, a Clergyman of the Church 
of England.! It is written in the epistolary form ; 
and the number of Letters is four. Each Letter, 
except the first, has a distinct title-page, with its 
own scriptural motto; and subjoined to the whole 
is an additional Letter, which is introduced to the 
notice of the reader by the following announcement. 
" The Publisher to whom the foregoing Letters were 
written, having left them some time with a Gentle- 
man, a Person of excellent Learning and Worth ; 
they were returned to him with this following Let- 
ter." The name of the "gentleman" here alluded 
to is unknown : but the " friend," to whom the first 
four Letters were addressed, was Mr. Firmin. 

Although public attention had been in some 
measure withdrawn from religious controversy, and 
fixed upon politics, the efforts of John Biddle and 
William Penn had not been thrown away; and 
men's minds were opened to some of the grosser 
delusions of reputed orthodoxy. Many who could 
not go the same length as Biddle, and who hesitated 

* An Account of Mr. Firmin*s Religion. London, 169S. Svo. 
p. 62. The author of this " Account" mentions 1689 as the year in 
which the "Brief History" was written; hut as it is repeatedly said, in 
the first edition, to have heen " printed in the year 1687/' it would seem 
that " 1689" is an error of the press for 1687. 

t Vide JRodeTB Catalogue of Books in Theology, Eccles. Hist, and 
Canon Law. Lond. 1848. No. 13,934. 


to embrace Unitarianism in its naked simplicity, 
yet agreed with Penn in discarding the Athanasian 
Creed, and contented themselves with a belief in 
a Modal Trinity. Not a few, who continued out- 
wardly to conform to the Church of England, would 
have been glad to promote a revisal of its Liturgy 
and Articles ; and even among its dignitaries there 
were those, to whom a moderate reform would not 
have been unpalatable, and who would have rejoiced 
to see the Creed of St. Athanasius excluded from 
the Book of Common Prayer. Mr. Whiston, in the 
Memoirs of his own Life and Writings,* tells us, 
that when he and another friend, in 1687, remon- 
strated with Dr. Davies, of Haidon, for reading the 
Athanasian Creed, of which he was known to be no 
admirer, the Doctor said, in excuse, that he read it 
only as he would read Greek to his English congre- 
gation ; but Mr. Whiston adds, that they so satisfied 
him of the impropriety of reading it at all, that he 
promised to read it no more. 

The only work of importance, on the Trinitarian 
side of the controversy, which made its appearance 
during the reign of James II., was Bull's " Defen- 
sio Fidei Nicajnae." The manuscript, as was before 
stated, was finished in 1680 ; but, from various 
causes, it remained unpublished till five years after 
that time. Some of the author's friends, who had 
taken the alarm at the writings of Sandius being 
allowed to circulate so freely among the youth, who 
were studying for the Church, without anything on 
the other side of the question, to operate as an anti- 
dote, urged Mr, Bull to make the result of his learned 

• Pt. i. p. 25. 


labours public ; and their representations induced 
him to revise his work for the press, and give it the 
form which it now bears. After oflfering it succes- 
sively to three different booksellers, none of them 
would encounter the risk of publishing it ; and the 
author, who had a large family, was imder the 
necessity of laying it aside, and abandoning, for a 
time, all idea of its publication. A friend, hearing 
this, prevailed upon him to place his manuscript in 
the hands of Dr. Jane, Regius Professor of Divinity 
at Oxford ; and the Professor having read it over 
with great care, was so much pleased with it, that 
he recommended the work to the patronage of Dr. 
Fell, who cheerfully took upon himself the respon- 
sibility of its publication.* In this work, the au- 
thor endeavours to prove, against the Arians and 
Socinians, from the testimony of the Ante-Nicene 
Fathers, that the divinity of the Son, and that of 
the Holy Spirit were doctrines well known, and 
approved by the Christians of the first three centu- 
ries ; and that the order of the three persons of the 
Trinity was such, that the Son, although he had 
the same essence with the Father, was inferior to 
him, and dependent on him, as far as regards his 
dignity and origin. According to Mr. Nelson, who 
will not be suspected of misrepresenting any opinion 
of Bishop Bull's, his Lordship has laid down and 
proved the following positions. " 1. That decree 
of the Nicene Council, by which it is declared, that 
the Son of God is God of God [ptog U ecov] is gene- 
rally approved of by the Catholic doctors, both by 

• Nehon'B Life of Bishop Bull. Lond. 1714, 2nd. Ed. Sect 50, 
pp. 280—284. 


them that lived before, and them that lived after that 
Council : for they all with one consent have taught, 
that the divine nature and perfections do agree to the 
Father and the Son, not collaterally or coordinatefy^ 
but suhordinateljf : that is, that the Son hath indeed 
the same nature in common with the Father, but 
hath it communicated from the Father, so as the 
Father alone hath that divine nature Jram himself, 
or from no other besides, but the Son from the 
Father ; and consequently, that the Father is the 
fountain, original and principle of the Divinity, which 
is in the Son. 2. The Catholick writers, both they 
that were before, and they that were after the Coun- 
cil of Nice, have unanimously declared Grod the 
Father to be greater than the Son, even according 
to his Divinity : yet this not by nature, or by any 
essential perfection, which is in the Father, and is 
wanting in the Son ; but only by fatherhood^ or his 
being the author and original ; forasmuch as the Son 
is from the Father, not the Father from the Son. 3. 
The doctrine of the subordination of the Son to the 
Father, as to his origination and principiation, the 
ancients thought to be most usefrd, and even altoge- 
ther necessary to be known and believed, that by this 
means the Godhead of the Son, might be so asserted, 
as that the unity of God, nevertheless, and the divine 
monarchy might still be preserved inviolate. For- 
asmuch as notwithstanding the name and nature 
are common to two, that is, to the Father and the 
Son, yet because one is the principle of the other, 
from whom he is propagated, and that by internal 
not external production ; it thence followeth. That 
God may rightly be said to be but one God. And 


the same ancients believed moreover, that the very 
same reason did hold likewise as to the Godhead of 
the Holy Ghost. "♦ From these positions, however, 
as Walchifis has observed,f and as learned men 
have long since, in his estimation, satisfactorily 
proved, the inferences are unavoidable, that the 
Father and the Son are not coequal, and that the 
Son, on account of his dependance, is destitute of a 
true and common divinity with the Father. Replies 
were published to the "Defensio Fidei Nicaenae," 
by Gilbert Gierke, and an anonymous writer in the 
third Volume of Unitarian Tracts, in 1695; by 
Samuel Crellius, under the feigned name of Lucas 
Mellierus, in 1697 ; and by Dr. Daniel Whitby, in 
1718. But the consideration of these belongs to a 
later period. 

William III. met with few impediments in his 
way to the English throne : but he was no sooner 
in possession of it, than difficulties began to present 
themselves to him on every side. He found it no 
easy matter to govern a people so untractable, in 
comparison with his own countrymen, as the En- 
glish, who were disposed to scrutinize the measures 
of their rulers before they obeyed them. Besides, 
though he was generally recognized as King in 
England, there was some hesitation, on the part of 
the Scotch and Irish, in admitting his claims. 
Ireland, indeed, he had to conquer, before he could 
be called its monarch. The only province disposed 

• Sect 67, pp. 314—316. 

t Bibl. Theol. Sel., Tom. I. p. 970. 


to acknowledge his authority was Ulster. The 
Catholics almost universally took up arms against 
him ; and many of the Protestants left the kingdom, 
and came over to England, as the only means of 
escaping the indignities and cruelties, to which they 
were exposed. Among these were persons of all 
ranks, and of both sexes ; and Mr. Firmin, of whose 
disinterested exertions on behalf of the Polish and 
French Protestants honourable mention has already 
been made, felt himself called upon to assist them 
in their distress. He was one of the Commissioners 
appointed to dispense to them the charitable contri- 
butions made on their behalf: and the large funds, 
collected on this occasion, were left almost entirely 
at his disposal. The Clergymen, Churchwardens, 
and others, who superintended the collections in 
the different parishes, were required to give an 
account, by letter, to Mr. Firmin, of the sums which 
they had raised, and paid into the hands of the 
Archdeacons ; so that, for a long time, hundreds of 
letters came to him on post days. The donations 
also of the King and Queen were solicited, and 
received by him. The sum total, which passed 
through his hands, was £56,566. 7^. 6d. ; and he 
sometimes attended the distribution from morning 
till evening, without allowing himself any interval 
for rest or meals. But in addition to all this, he 
was enabled, by the assistance of liberal friends, to 
give private sums to individuals, whose rank pre- 
vented them from seeking relief from the general 
ftmd, or whose wants required more than that frmd, 
injustice to the other recipients, could yield: and 
when Ireland was reduced, and the Protestants 



could return in safety to their own homes, he made 
fresh efforts to supply theiA with what was neces- 
sary for their journey, and obtained large sums 
from benevolent individuals for this purpose. 

Mr. Firmin's disinterested exertions on this occa- 
sion were beyond all praise ; and it must have been 
peculiarly gratifying to him to receive, as he did, 
the following acknowledgment of his services, bear- 
ing the signatures of some of the most eminent dig- 
nitaries of the Irish Church.* 

" To Mr. Thomas Firmin. 

" Sir, — ^Being occasionally met together at Dublin, 
on a public account ; and often discoursing of the 
great relief, which the Protestants of this kingdom 
found among their brethren in England, in the 
time of our late miseries : we cannot treat that sub- 
ject without as frequent mention of your name, who 
so cheerfully and entirely devoted yourself to that 
ministry. We consider, with aU thankfulness, how 
much the public charity was improved by your in- 
dustry ; and we are witnesses of your indefatigable 
pains and faithfulness in the distribution ; by which 
many thousands were preserved from perishing. 
We know also, that some who refused to take out 
of the common stock, as being desirous to cut off 
occasion of murmurs, were however, by your medi- 
ation, comfortably subsisted by private benevolences. 
We doubt not, but you and they have the earnest 
of your reward in the peace of your own minds ; 
which, we pray God to fill with comforts, and i7Zw- 

• Life of T. Finnin, pp. 67, 68. 


minate with his truths; making his grace to abound 
in them, who have ab6unded in their charity to 
others. And we intreat, that you, and all such as 
you know to have had their parts in this service, 
would believe, that we shall ever retain a grateful 
remembrance of it ; as some testimony whereof, we 
desire you, for your self in particular, to receive this 
acknowledgment of your kindness to our brethren, 

and therein to 

Your much obliged, 

and most humble Servants, 

Jo. Tuam, Edw. Cork and Ross, 

W. Qonfert, N. Waterford, 

Bar. Femleigh, R. Clogher, 

S. Elpin, W. Raphoe." 

Soon after the Revolution, measures were devised 
for relieving the Nonconformists^ but they were 
opposed, and partially defeated by fee vigilance and 
bigotry of the Church party. " In PaJ^^ent," says 
Mr. Locke, writing to his friend Limbdrch, March 
12th, 1689, " the subject of Toleration ffcnow dis- 
cussed under two forms, comprehension aM indul- 
gence. By the first it is proposed to eiilll|P the 
bounds of the Church, so that, by the aboli tim ^ 
some ceremonies, many may be induced to conf* 
By the other is designed, the toleration of thoj 
who are either unwilling, or unable to unite witfc 
the Church of England, even on the proposed con 
ditions. How liberal or rigid these will be, I knov 
not. I however suspect, that the Episcopal Cievgj^ 
are not very favourable to these projects, and othersi 
in agitation. Whether they thus consult the public^ 


interest, or their own, I will not decide." ♦ The 
former of the two plans alluded to by Mr. Locke 
was soon transferred from the Parliament to the 
Bishops and clergy, at whose hands it met with the 
fete, which might have been anticipated. It came 
to nothing, as we shall see by and by. The latter 
plan was successfully carried out, though upon far 
too limited a scale; and forms a new era in the 
religious history of this country. 

In the month of May, 1689, the Toleration Act 
passed, without much opposition ; and this, under 
all the circumstances, was regarded as an important 
step in the right direction. In the language of 
Lord Mansfield, it rendered that legal which had 
before been illegal. By this Act, the dissenting 
mode of worship was permitted, and allowed. It 
was not only exempted from punishment, but ren- 
dered innocent and lawful. It was established. It 
was put under the protection, and not merely left 
at the connivance of the law. 

Lord Somers, the framer of this Act, has been 
deemed a great statesman, and a profound lawyer ; 
and in the wording of it, he vindicated his claim to 
both these characters. He was a man of enlight- 
ened views, and a friend to civil and religious liberty, 
but at the same time a zealous Churchman ; and 
while he was desirous of providing as large a mea- 
sure of toleration for the principal dissenting sects, 
as was at that time deemed compatible with the 
welfare of the state, he was anxious also to accom- 

• Some Familiar Lettere between Mr. Locke, and several of his 
Frienda. Lond. 170S, Svo. pp. 329, 330. Mon. Rep. Vol. XIII. p. 


pany it by such checks and precautions, that, if the 
safety of the Established Church should ever be 
threatened by the increasing numbers and influence 
of the Dissenters, they might feel, that there was 
still a power in the law, capable of vindicating the 
Church's claims to respect, and of defeating any 
attempts for its overthrow.* 

After the passing of this important Act, Locke 
again thus writes to his friend, June 6th, 1689. 
" You have, no doubt, heard before this time, that 
toleration is at length established here by law ; not, 
perhaps, to the extent which you, and such as you, 
sincere, candid and unambitious Christians would 
desire ; but it is something to have proceeded thus 
far. By such a beginning, I trust that those foun- 
dations of peace and liberty are laid, on which the 
Church of Christ was at first established. "f 

Though much was done, by the Act of Tolerar 
tion, to legalize some kinds of Dissent, that Act left 
the penalties against others in full force. It effected 
no change in the legal position of the Catholic, or 
the Unitarian. The sixteenth clause enacted, that 
it should not extend, or be construed to extend, to 
give any ease, benefit, or advantage, to any Papist, 
or Popish recusant, whatsoever ; or to any person, 
who should deny, in his preaching or writing, the 
doctrine of the ever-blessed Trinity, as it is declared 
in the Thirty-nine Articles ; and the twelfth clause 

* The Rights of Conscience asserted and defined in Reference to the 
modem Interpretation of the Toleration Act, in a Discourse delivered 
at Essex Street Chapel, Feb. 5, 1812, &c., by Thomas Belsham^ pp. 
6, 7, Note. 

t Familiar Letters, p. 330. Mon. Rep. Vol. XIII. p. 297. 


enacted, with a particular reference to the Quakers, 
that persons, who entertained conscientious scruples 
with regard to the taking of oaths, should be allowed 
the benefit of the Act, on making certain declara^ 
tions, and subscribing a profession of their Christian 
belief in a given form of words. 

Mr. Locke says, that this profession of belief 
would not have been imposed upon the Quakers, but 
for the officious interference of some of their ovm 
body, whose imprudence many others of eminence 
among them grievously lamented.* The clause, as 
it originally stood, extended the protection of the 
Act, in general terms, to " all such who profess faith 
in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ his eternal 
Son, the true God, and in the Holy Spirit, coequal 
with the Father and the Son, one God blessed for 
ever : and do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testament to be the revealed will and 
word of God." But the four friends, who attended 
the House of Commons during the discussion of the 
Bill, — George Whitehead, John Vaughton, William 
Mead, and John Osgood, — ^being called in and exa- 
mined, objected to the words "coequal with the 
Father and the Son," applied to the Holy Spirit, as 
unscriptural. They objected also, on the same 
grounds, to the phrase " the revealed will and word 
of God," as descriptive of the Books of the Old and 
New Testament. Instead, therefore, of the decla- 
rative clause above mentioned, they proposed that 
the following confession of faith should be substi- 
tuted. " I, A. B., profess faith in God the Father, 

• Familiar Letters, pp. 330, 331. Mon. Rep. Vol. XIII. p. 297. 
VOL. I. S 


and in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, the true God, 
and in the Holy Spirit, one Qod blessed for ever ; 
and do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old 
and New Testament to be given by divine inspira- 
tion." This form was drawn up by the " friends in 
waiting," at the request of Sir Thomas Qarges, who 
took it into the House, and moved, in the com- 
mittee of the whole House, that it should be sub- 
stituted for the one originally introduced into the 
Bill. The motion was agreed to; and thus the 
Quakers, through the indiscretion of a few leading 
members of their own body, were instrumental in 
forging chains, to bind themselves, and their poste- 
rity. Their historian, Grough, adds, " As a profes- 
sion of faith is required of this society only, it 
evinces the truth of the conjecture, that this pro- 
fession of faith was started, with a view to exelode 
the people called Quakers from a participation of 
the benefits of this Act."* But it is clear, on his 
own shewing, as well as from the express dedara- 
tion of Mr. Locke, made within a fortnight of the 
passing of the Act, that this Creed was imposed 
upon the Quakers, with the sanction, if not at the 
suggestion, of their own representatives, who vrait 
to the House of Commons for the purpose of giving 
information to the Members, and watching the pro- 
gress of the Bill. It would have been more digni- 
fied, and more honourable to the religious body 
which they represented, if they had made a protest 
against the imposition of any declaration of faiths 
and resolved to take their stand upon that protest. 

* A History of the People called Quakers, &c.| by John Chugh, 
Dublin, 1789, 8vo. Vol. III. Bk. vi. Chap i. pp. 232—235. 


As it was, the declaration incorporated into the 
Act gave great dissatis&ction to many of their own 
friends; and was not a faithful expression of the 
true Quaker doctrine of that period, as may be seen 
from the following declaration, which was delibe- 
rately framed, and presented to Parliament in 1693, 
on behalf of the members of the society, for the 
purpose of clearing them from the imputation of 
haying adopted ^^ some Socinian notions." 

" Be it known to all, that we sincerely believe 
and confess, L That Jesus of Nazareth^ who was 
bom of the Virgin Mary^ is the true Messiah^ the 
very Christ, the Son of the living God, to whom all 
the prophets gave witness : And that we do highly 
value his death, sufferings, works, offices, and merits 
for the redemption of mankind, together with his 
laws, doctrine and ministry. II. That this very 
Christ of God, who is the Lamb of God, that takes 
away the sins of the world, was slain, was dead, 
and is alive, and lives for ever in his divine eternal 
glory, dominion and power with the Father. III. 
That the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Tes- 
tament, are erf divine authority, as being given by 
inspiration of God. IV. And that magistracy, or 
civil government, is God's ordinance, the good ends 
thereof being for the punishment of evil doers, and 
praise of them that do well."* 

The " Socinian notions," with which the Quakers 
had been charged, probably related to the sub- 
jects of Justification and Magistracy. They could 
scarcely have had a reference to the doctrine of the 

* 8eu>ef9 History of the Quakers, p. 649 ; apud Men. Rep. Vol. 
Vm. pp. 645, 646. 



Trinity, else this confession would hare tended to 
strengthen, rather than remove the imputation ; for 
it contains not a single word inconsistent with the 
Unitarian opinions on that subject, and makes not 
the slightest allusion to the Holy Ghost, in the dis- 
tinct personality of which the early Quakers certainly 
did not believe. Besides, it received the signaturesi 
of upwards of thirty members of the Society, among 
whom was Greoi^e Whitehead, who had joined 
Penn in the controversy with Thomas Vincent, the 
Presbyterian Minister; and therefore participated 
with him in the sentiments of " The Sandy Foun- 
dation shaken." Under these circumstances, it is 
scarcely credible, that George Whitehead was a 
consenting party to the declaration inserted in the 
Toleration Act. It is much more probable, that he 
was overruled, or outvoted by his brother deputies. 
On the 13th of September, 1689, the King issued 
a Commission to ten Bishops, and twenty Divines, 
authorizing them to prepare such alterations in the 
Liturgy and Canons of the Church of England, as 
might be found expedient.* The Commissioners 
met accordingly in the Jerusalem Chamber, on the 
10th of October; and after the secession of the 
Bishops of Rochester and Winchester, and Doctors 
Jane and Aldrich, who objected to the Commission 
as illegal, the remaining twenty-six unanimously 
agreed to make several important recommendations. 
All the proceedings under this Commission are not 
known, the books containing the account of them 

* The Life of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, Lord Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, by Tfutmas Birch, D.D., 2nd £d. Lond. 1753, 
Bvo. pp. 166, 167. 


having never been published ; but some of them are 
mentioned in Birch's Life of Archbishop Tillotson, 
from which Bishop Watson has extracted them, in 
his " Considerations on the Expediency of revising 
the Liturgy and Articles of the Church of England."* 
With regard to the Athanasian Creed, which appears 
to have presented the greatest stumbling-block, it 
was at length decided, according to Dr. Calamy^'\ 
after much discussion, " that lest the wholly rejecting 
it should by unreasonable persons be imputed to 
them as Socinianism, a rubric should be made, set- 
ting forth, or declaring the curses denounced therein, 
not to be restrained to every particular article, but 
intended against those that deny the substance of 
the Christian religion in general." According to 
Dr. Nichols, this Creed being disliked by many 
persons on account of the damnatory clauses, it was 
proposed to leave it to the Minister's choice, either 
to use it, or to substitute the Apostles' Creed. J 

This judicious, and well-intended effort to rid the 
Book of Common Prayer of some of its most objec- 
tionable passages, was defeated by the Jacobitical 
fiu^tion, who wished to bring back James the Second; 
and by the high Churchmen, who declared against 
all alterations whatever.§ The recommendations 
of the Commissioners, however, were laid before the 
Convocation ; and if they had received the appro- 

• London, 1790. 8vo. pp. 33—36. 

f Abridgement of the Life of Baxter, Vol. I. p. 461. See also 
Bireh*s Life of Archbishop Tillotson, pp. 177 — 181. 

X Apparat pp. 95, 96. Birches Life of Archbishop Tillotson, pp. 

§ Considerations on the Expediency of revising the Liturgy, &c. 
p. 37. 


bation of that body, they were then to have been 
submitted to the consideration of Parliament, whose 
sanction they would no doubt have obtained. 

The Convocation met on the 21st of November;* 
but before the two Houses proceeded to business, 
it was discovered, that the Commission, issued by 
the King, was defective, because the Great Seal 
was not aflGlxed to it.f This omission was soon 
supplied: but the Convocation was composed of 
such discordant elements, that, after much veran- 
gling between the two Houses, without advancing 
a single step in the business for which they were 
called together, it was adjourned from the 13th of 
December, 1689, to the 24th of January, 1690, and 
at last dissolved, with the Parliament.^ The paci- 
fic intentions of the King were frxistrated ; and so 
ended the last attempt to reform the Church of 

While the Convocation was sitting, the Prolocu- 
tor attended the President and Bishops on the 1 1th 
of December, 1689 ; and in the name of the Lowar 
House, represented to their Lordships, " that there 
were several books of very dangerous consequence 
to the Christian religion, and the Church of England, 
particularly * Notes upon Athanasius's Creed,' and 
' Two Letters ' relating to the present Convocation, 
newly come abroad." In the name of the Lower 
House, he requested their Lordships to inform him, 
" in what way, and how far safely, without incur- 
ring the penalty of the statute of 25 Hen. VHI., 
the Convocation might proceed in preventing the 

• Life of Tillotson, p. 184. f P. 187. J Pp. 187—192. 


publishing the like scandalous books for the future, 
and inflicting the censures of the Church, according 
to the Canons provided in that behalf, upon the 
authors of them." On the 13th of the same month, 
the Prolocutor informed the House, " that the Pre- 
sident had declared his sense of the ill consequence 
of those books that were sent up from that House 
to their Lordships; and that, upon inquiry, he 
could not receive any satisfaction how far the Con- 
vocation might proceed in that affair ; but that he 
would, as fiix as lay in him, take further order about 

The " Brief Notes upon Athanasius's Creed," 
which gave so much offence to the learned Convo- 
cation Divines, were embodied in a short tract, 
printed upon a single sheet of paper. They con- 
tained a searching examination into the logic and 
arithmetic of that renowned orthodox symbol, and 
exhibited great acuteness, and controversial dexte- 
rity ; and the sensation which they produced must 
have been considerable, or the members of the 
Lower House of Convocation would not have made 
them (as they did) the subject of a specific com- 
plaint to the Upper House. They met with a 
fitvourable reception, however, from several learned 
men, both in London and in the country ; and in 
conjunction with another tract, already mentioned, 
and entitled, " A Brief History of the Unitarians, 
called also Socinians, in four Letters, written to a 
Friend," gave rise to the celebrated controversy, in 
which Dr. Sherlock and Dr. South took so promi- 
nent a part. But before these celebrated champions 

• P. 191. 


entered the lists, the public attention to the subject 
of the Trinity was kept alive by Dr. Arthur Bury, 
a Divine of the latitudinarian school, and Dr. John 
Wallis, Savilian Professor of Geometry in the Uni- 
versity of Oxford. 

Dr. Bury published " The Naked Gospel, disco- 
vering, I. What was the Gospel which our Lord 
and his Apostles preached? II. What Additions 
and Alterations later Ages have made in it I III. 
What Advantages and Damages have thereupon 
ensued. Part I. Of Faith." 4to. This work pro- 
fesses, in the title-page, to be written " By a true 
Son of the Church of England ;" " and yet," says 
TFborf,* " he expressly denies the doctrine of the 
Church of England." Dr. Bury argues, that Chris- 
tians had bewildered themselves by their long dis- 
putes respecting the Trinity, and the two natures, 
and two wills of Christ ; whence the Arians, Nes- 
torians, Eutychians, Monophysites, Monothelites, 
and many other sects, whose differences arose more 
from the novel and ambiguous phraseology employ- 
ed, when speaking, or writing upon theological 
subjects, than from any other cause. Alluding to 
the person of Christ, he says, "When the great 
question concerning the eternity of his gocUiead 
first embroiled the world, the Emperor Constantine, 
by the most esteemed of his Bishops sent to the 
heads of the contending parties an every way gra^ 
cious letter, perswading each of them to silence: 
wherein we find many sayings for quieting the dis- 
pute, more worth than all that since hath been 
written for deciding it. We shall take notice of 

• Athcn. Oxon. Vol. II. p. 950. 


three. — ^He condemneth it as a silly question, fitter 
for fools or children, than Priests or wise men. 
And this he presseth no less than eight or nine 
times. How justly, we may discover in three par- 
ticulars. 1. It is impertinent to our Lord's design. 

2. It is fruitless to the contemplators own purpose. 

3. It is dangerous."* These three particulars he 
discusses in as many chapters ;f and the result of 
the whole he sums up in the following words. 
" The long and mischievous controversy was at last 
settled by Theodosius; who having received his 
instructions and baptism from a Consubstantialist, 
required all his subjects to conform to ' That reli- 
gion, which Peter, the prince of the Apostles, from 
the beginning had delivered to the Romans, and 
which at that time Damasus, Bishop of Rome, and 
Peter, Bishop-of Alexandria, held : and that Church 
only should be esteemed Catholick, which worship- 
ed the divine Trinity vnth equal honour, and those 
who held the other, should be called hereticks^ made 
infamous and punished.' — ^This we may therefore 
call settling the controversy, because thenceforth all 
succeeding Emperors and Bishops wrote after this 
copy; and both the parties have ever worn those 
titles, which the Emperor by his imperial power (as 
the unquestionable fountain of honor) was pleased 
to bestow upon them. — Behold now the ground, on 
which one of our fundamental articles of faith is 
built ! Behold the justice of that plea, which from 
such a possession would prescribe to our belief! 
We have traced it from its spring, with no worse 

* The Naked Gospel, Chap. vii. p. 40. 
t Chap, vii— ix. 


intent than to appeal from the great Theodosins, 
who put it above dispute, to the greater Constantin, 
who put it below dispute ; and to silence the cla- 
mour of Heresy against one party, by silencing the 
whole Controversie in both."* In the Preface, Dr, 
Bury insmuates, that the misunderstandings among 
Christians, combined with a want of charity, which 
led them to condemn and persecute each other, 
induced Mahomet, when framing his new religion, 
to reject those corruptions which were too gross 
to be maintained with any appearance of reason. 
" Whether Mahomet or C!hristian Doctors," says he, 
" have more corrupted the Grospel, is not so plain 
by the light of Scripture, as it is by that of experi- 
ence, that the latter gave occasion, encouragement, 
and advantage to the former. For when by nice 
and hot disputes (especially concerning the second 
and third persons of the Trinity) the minds of the 
whole people had been long confounded — ; when 
by mutual uncharitableness either party persecuted 
the other both with spiritual and temporal weapons ; 
when thus all mens minds were perplexed with 
doubts, and scared with threats, so that they knew 
not What they were to believe, and thereby so 
diverted from true piety, that they cared not How 
they lived : then was there a tempting opportunity 
offered to the impostor, and he laid hold on it, to 
set up himself for a reformer of such corruptions, as 
were both too gross to be justified, and too visible 
to be denied." 

For these, and other offensive opinions and state- 
ments, advanced in his work, called " The Naked 

• Chap. ix. pp. 56, 57. 


Gospel," Dr. Bury was deprived of the rectorship 
of lincoki College, by Dr. Jonathan Trelawney, 
Bishop of Exeter. The particulars of this Depriva- 
tion are given, in " An Account of the Proceedings 
of the Right Reverend Father in God, Jonathan, 
Lord Bishop of Exeter, in his late Visitation of 
Exeter CJollege, in Oxford. Oxf. Printed at the 
Theatre, 1690," 4to. From this account it appears, 
that the Bishop of Exeter " being willing to reform 
the College, not only by legal, but imexceptionable 
methods, appointed the 16th of June, 1690, for the 
day of his Solemn and General Visitation, to be 
held in the Chapel ; and served the College with a 
previous citation" for that purpose. But when the 
Bishop went to the Chapel, where the Rector and 
Fellows had been cited to appear, he foimd the 
doors designedly shut against him. Nine of the 
Fellows attended the Bishop, and acknowledged his 
visitatorial power : but the Rector, and some of the 
Fellows, protested against it. On this, the Visitor 
applied, by petition, to the King and Queen in 
council ; but the Rector expressed his determination 
not to bind himself to an acquiescence in their de- 
cision. The Lords of the Privy Council, therefore, 
referred the Visitor to the usufid course of law. On 
this he took counsel's opinion, which being favour- 
able to his claims, he resolved, after considerable 
opposition on the part of Dr. Bury, to hold the pro- 
posed Visitation. The Articles of Inquiry against 
the Rector, and protesting Fellows, were seven in 
number ; and the first was as follows. " That the 
Rector was the reputed author of a book called 
' The Naked Gospel ;' that he sat at St. Athanasius's 


Creed in the Chappel ; that he was generally sus- 
pected of Heresy ; and did not read prayers at the 
Chappel as often as by Statute he was oblig'd."* 
Litchfield, the printer of " The Naked Grospel," was 
called into court, and attested, upon oath, that he 
received the manuscript of that work from the hands 
of Dr. Bury; and was authorized by him, in his 
capacity of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, to print it. His 
Lordship being satisfied, that this, and other chaises 
against him were substantiated, and that it was not 
consistent with the interests of the College, the 
reputation of the University, or the pious design of 
the founder, to permit the Rector any longer to 
retain his station in the College and University, 
found himself under the necessity of depriving him ; 
which he resolved to do, in the way directed by the 
Statutes. The Bishop then, in his capacity as Ordi- 
nary, gave the Rector seven days, after monition, 
for his removal ; and in case of further contumacy, 
pronounced him Excommunicate, f The sentence 
of deprivation, which occupies the last page of the 
" Account," J is in Latin. It bears the signature, 
J. Exon ; and is attested by Ezra Cleaveland, Guil. 
Reade, John Harris, and John Bagwell, four Mas- 
ters of Arts, out of the seven Senior Scholars of 
Exeter College, Oxford. 

The ejectment of Dr. Bury was speedily followed 
by other annoyances from certain Masters in the 
University, who endeavoured to make his fall the 
greater, by petitioning the Vice-Chancellor to sum- 
mon a Convocation, for the purpose of adopting 

• Account of the Proceedings, &c. p. 32. 
t Pp. 35—37. t P- 58. 


further measures of severity against him. In com- 
pliance with the prayer of the Masters' petition, the 
Vice-Chancellor summoned a Convocation, for the 
18th of August ; and the University passed a decree 
to the effect, that there were in the book, called 
" The Naked Gospel," certain impious and heretical 
propositions, repugnant to the chief mysteries of 
fidth in the Catholic Church, and especially in the 
Church of England. A subsequent decree con- 
demned the book to be publicly burnt in the School's 

These marks of censure, passed upon himself and 
his book by the authorities of the University, in- 
duced Dr. Bury to publish " An Apology for writing 
the Naked Gospel ;" and before the end of the year 
the following works appeared in its defence : — ^''The 
Fire's continued at Oxford: or, the Decree of the 
Convocation for burning * the Naked Gospel ' con- 
sidered: in a Letter to his Honour;" Aug. 30, 
1690, 4to. ; and "An Historical Vindication of 
* the Naked Gospel,' recommended to the University 
of Oxford: printed in the year 1690," 4to. In the 
year following appeared, " An Answer to an Here- 
tical Book called ' the Naked Gospel,' which was 
condemned and ordered to be publicly burnt by the 
Convocation of the University of Oxford, Aug. 16, 
1690; with some Reflections on Dr. Bury's New 
Edition of that Book : to which is added a short 
History of Socinianism; by William Nicholls^ M,A.^ 
Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and Chaplain to 
the Rt. Hon. Ralph Earl of Mountague. London, 
1691," 4to. This "Answer" was dedicated to 
Lord Mountague ; and the author gives the same 




titles to the several Chapters, as had been given by 
Dr. Bury himself, in his "Naked Gk>spel." The 
New Edition of that work, to which the author of 
the " Answer " alludes, was only a re-issue of the 
unsold copies, with certain parts cancelled, and 
others altered, as appears from the following " De- 
position of Leonard Litchfield, Printer, who printed 
an Heretical Book call'd ^ the Naked Qospel/ pub* 
lished by Dr. Bury ; since censur'd and burnt by 
the unanimous Decree of the University of Oxford." 
" July 14, 1689 : — ^which day appeared personally 
Leonard Litchfield, of the University of Oxford, 
printer, and deposeth, — ^That I printed a book enti- 
tuled ' the Naked Qospel ' for Dr. Bury, who paid 
me for my work, and told me, if any one question'd 
me for it, I should say that I had the Pro-Vice^ 
Chancellor's leave, he being then Pro-Vice-Chan- 
ceUor, as he told me, and at another time, told md 
he would bear me harmless. Not long after he sent 
for me, and said that it gave some distrust, and that 
he would make such alterations, as would take off 
the offence that it gave, after which he order'd me 
to print the sheets H, and I, and as I remember, 
the last half sheet, and told me that he had not 
disposed of many, and order'd me to print of these 
alterations 400 or more, the fiill number at first was 
500. He also told me he intended to leave out the 
sheet K, and then to publish it with these alterations. 

" Eodem die The same Mr. Litch- 
field made oath that he verily be- 1 

lieved what he hath here wrote > ^^^^^^^ L"C="*^-" 
down and set his hand to, is true. 

* An Account of the Proceedings, &c. p. 55. 


In 1691 also appeared ^^ An Answer to a Socinian 
Treatise called ^the Naked Grospel,' by Thomas 
Lanffj B.D., Prebendary of St. Peter's Exeter," 

The substance of the " Historical Vindication of 
* the Naked Gospel,' " was incorporated by M. Le 
Clerc into his life of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, 
which led to the suspicion, that he was himself the 
author of that " Vindication." ♦ It contains an 
account of the Arian controversy, both before and 
after the Coundl of Nice ; and as the facts connected 
with this controversy are not represented in exactly 
the same light by the author of it, as they are by 
Bishop Bull, in his " Defensio Fidei Nicsenae," that 
writer took some notice of the contents of the 
•* Historical Vindication," in his " Judicium Eccle- 
siee Catholics^, &c. assertum contra M. Simonem 
Episcopium, aliosque;" and in his '^Primitiva et 
Apostolica Traditio, &c. asserta atque evidenter 
demonstrata contra Danielem Zuickerum, Borus- 
ram, ejusque nuperos in Anglia Sectatores."t 

On the 11th of August, 1690, while the proceed- 
ings against Dr. Bury were pending at Oxford, Dr. 
John Wallis^ Savilian Professor of Geometry in that 
University, and one of the oldest Divines then living 
in England, published a pamphlet, entitled, " The 
Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity briefly explained, in 
a Letter to a Friend," 4to. The substance of the 
Doctor's explanation is as follows. " The Scripture 
tells us plainly, ' There are three that bear record 
in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy 

• Nehtm's Life of Bishop Bull, Sect 66, p. a74. 
t Pp. 376, 376. 



Ghost ; and these three are one,' 1 John v. 7. And 
the form of baptism (Mat. xxviii. 19) is, * In the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost.' That these are three, distinguished from 
each other, is manifest; and, that this distinction 
amongst themselves is wont to be called Personality: 
by which word, we mean, that distinction (whatever 
it be) whereby they are distinguished each from 
other, and thence called Three Persons. If the 
word Person do not please, we need not be fond of 
words, so the thing be agreed: yet it is a good 
word, and warranted by Scripture, Heb. i. 3, where 
the Son is called, ' the express image of his' Father's 
* person.' If it be asked what these Personalities or 
Characteristics are, whereby each Person is distin- 
guished from other; I think we have little more 
thereof in Scripture, than that the Father is said to 
beget; the Son, to be begotten; and the Holy Ghost, 
to proceed. If it be ftirther asked, what is the ftdl 
import of these words (which are but metaphorical), 
and what is the adequate meaning of them, I think 
we need not trouble ourselves about it. — 'Tis hard 
for us (who understand so little of a Spirit) to deter- 
mine (of what God is pleased to reveal) that it is 
impossible, or inconsistent with his essence, which 
essence we cannot imderstand. But what is it that 
is thus pretended to be impossible ? 'Tis but this, 
that there be Three Somewhats^ which are but One 
God: and these Somewhats we commonly call Per^ 
sons" The Doctor labours to prove, that there is 
no inconsistency, or impossibility, in the doctrine of 
the Trinity thus explained, by shewing, what no 
man in his senses ever doubted, that " what in one 


?gard are Three^ may in another regard be Oney 
'or this purpose, he compares the Tri-une God 
> a cube, with each of its dimensions, of length, 
readth and height infinitely extended; and then 
roceeds to argue thus. " If in this (supposed) 
abe, (we suppose in order, not in time,) its first 
imension, that of length, as A. B., and to that 
mgth be given an equal breadth (which is the true 
eneration of a square) as C. D., which compleats 
tie square basis of the cube ; and to this basis (of 
mgth and breadth) be given (as by further proces- 
Lon from both) an equal height, E. F., which com- 
leats the cube ; and all this eternally (for such is 
lie cube supposed to be), here is a fair resemblance 
if we may parvis camponere magna) of the Father 
as the fountain or original) ; of the Son (as gene- 
ated of him from all eternity) ; and of the Holy 
rhost (as eternally proceeding from both) : and all 
his without any inconsistence. This longum^ latum^ 
rofundum^ (long, broad and tall,) is but one cube ; 
f three dimensions, and yet but one body : and this 
•'ather, Son and Holy Ghost ; three persons^ and yet 
ut One God.** Having exhausted this illustration, 
erived from a material body locally extended, the 
)octor advances a step higher. He supposes that 
tere are spiritual beings, such as angels and the 
oiils of men, and that such beings are endued with 
nawledge to understand and invent, and with power 
J act; and having assumed this, he proceeds to 
lake the following application of the supposition. 
To be is not the same as to know^ for that may be 
irhere this is not ; and to do is (for the same reason) 
omewhat different from both those, for a man may 

VOL. I. T 



be and may know what be doth not do ; yet 'tis one 
and the same soul (at least one and the same man) 
which is^ and knows^ and does. There is therefore 
no impossibility or inconsistence in it, that what m 
one regard are Three^ may in another regard be 
One. — I might shew the same," says the good old 
man, ^^ as to the understanding^ mil and meaning^ 
which are all the same soul : and the known meta^ 
physical terms of unum^ verum^ banum^ which axe 
all but the same Ens. And many other instances 
of the like nature." 

In reply to the Letter, of which the above is a 
brief outline. Dr. Wallis received one from an un- 
known correspondent, with the London post-mark, 
dated Sept. 23rd, 1690. This reply was signed 
"W. J.," the initial letters of the writer's name, 
William Jane.* Its author commends the modest 
and conciliatory tone in which Dr. Wallis's Letter 
is written, and approves, on the whole, of his mode 
of arguing the subject ; but expresses a doubt, whe- 
ther it will satisfy the scholastic, Athanasian Trini- 
tarian. The venerable Savilian Professor was igno- 
rant from whom this reply came ; but as its tone 
was respectful, he published it, together with "il 
Second Letter concerning the Holy Trinity, pursuant 
to the former, from the same Hand ; occasioned by 
a Letter (there inserted) from one unknown: by 
John Wallis, D.D.' This was dated Sept. 27th, 
1690. In the mean time, a Unitarian writer, feigEt 
ing to be the friend, to whom the Doctor addressed 
his first Letter, published a tract, bearing the fol- 
lowing title: "Dr. Wallis's Letter touching the 

• Biog. Brit Vol. VI. Pt. i. p. 3683, Note O. 


Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity answer'd by his 
Friend." This answer was afterwards inserted in 
the first volnme of the Unitarian Tracts. Th6 
writer begins by saying, that, on the receipt of th^ 
Doctor's Letter, he communicated it to a neighbour, 
a reputed Unitarian, or Socinian, not doubting that 
he would be convinced by it ; but that a conversar 
tion ensued, in the course of which his own faith in 
the doctrine of the Trinity began to give way, before 
the plausible arguments of his Unitarian neighbour. 
A report of this conversation forms the substance of 
the answer, at the close of which the writer requests 
the Doctor to take upon himself the trouble of writ- 
ing another Letter, to dissipate the doubts raised 
by the above conversation. A Postscript follows, 
containing some remarks upon the Doctor's '^ Second 
Letter," on which also his friend asks for further 

Li about a month after the date of his ^' Second 
Letter," the Doctor wrote "An Explication and 
Vindication of the Athanasian Creed, in a Third 
Letter, pursuant of two former, concerning the Sa- 
cred Trinity, together with a Postscript in Answer 
to another Letter." The date of this " Third Let- 
ter" is Oct. 28th, 1690, and that of the Postscript, 
Nov, 15th, 1690. In the Letter, Dr. Wallis says, 
^ When this third Letter was printed, and ready to 
ooftne abroad, I stopped it a little for this Postscript ; 
occasioned by a small treatise which came to my 
hands with this title, ' Dr. Wallis's Letter touching 
I2i6 Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity answer'd by hi^ 
Friend/ It seems," continues the Doctor, " I have 
more friends abroad than I am aware of. But, who 

T 2 



this friend is, or whether he be a friend, I do not 
know." He then proceeds very good humouredly 
to defend the statements and opinions advanced in 
his " First Letter." 

At this stage of the controversy, another combat- 
ant entered the field, who conducted his attack upon 
Arian principles. This induced Dr. Wallis to pub- 
lish "^ Fourth Letter concerning the Sacred Tri^ 
nity, in Reply to what is entitled ' An Answer to 
Dr. Wallis's Three Letters.'" In this "Fourth 
Letter," the venerable Savilian Professor threw out 
a suspicion, which however proved to be unfounded, 
that this new adversary was only his old Unitarian 
opponent, under a new disguise ; for he says, " In a 
former answer (from I know not whom) to my First 
and Second Letter, we had two persons (a friend 
and his neighbour) in one man: of which I have 
given account in my Third Letter. We have now 
an answer to that also : but whether from the friend, 
or the neighbour, or from a third person, he doth 
not tell me. Yet all the three persons may (for 
aught I know) be the same man." His Arian oppo- 
nent lost no time in publishing " A Vindication of 
himself against Dr. Wallis's Fourth Letter." In 
this Vindication he disclaims the imputation of So- 
cinianism, and holds himself responsible for none 
but Arian views. He says distinctly, that he is 
neither the Socinian, nor the Socinian's friend ; that 
he is not concerned to defend Socinus, or any other 
man, who has allowed imprudent expressions to 
escape him; and that he is not chargeable with 
contradictions or inconsistencies, which may, by 
possibility, be fairly laid to the account of the Doc- 


tor*8 other opponent. But the Doctor's other oppo- 
nent was well able to answer for himself, which he 
iid in " Observations on the Four Letters of Dr. 
John Wallis, concerning the Trinity and the Creed 
of Athanasius. London, 1691." These " Observa- 
tions" occupy the last place in the first volume of 
the Unitarian Tracts ; and are addressed, in an epis- 
tolary form, to the friend who had supplied the writer 
with copies of the Doctor's Letters, as they came 
out. The writer considers, first, the design of those 
Letters; secondly, the Somewhats into which the 
Doctor resolves the three persons of the Trinity; 
thirdly, the Doctor's explication of the Athanasian 
Creed ; and fourthly, the opinions charged by the 
Doctor upon Socinus and the Socinians. "I am 
not aware, Sir,"^ he says in conclusion, " that there 
is anything more in the Doctor's Letters necessary 
to be considered. I conclude, therefore, with de- 
siring you to give my acknowledgements and thanks 
to Dr. Wallis, that he was wilUng to spend some 
part of his time, which he knows how to expend so 
well, in seeking to instruct and reduce the Unita^ 
rians, and particularly the Socinians. That they 
are not convinced by what he hath said, doth not 
(they confess) lessen their obligations to him. They 
desire it may not lessen his charity to them ; since 
'tis not in men's power to believe as they will. They 
profess he has written like a man of wit and letters ; 
like a gentleman, and like a Christian : Therefore 
they will always hear Dr. Wallis as a father ; and 
if there be a necessity at any time to reply, they 
will answer respectfully."* 

• P. 20. 


The learned Doctor was not tardy in notiolxig 
either the Arian's '* Vindication of himself," or the 
XJnitarian's "Observations on the Four Letters," 
He replied to the former in a " Fifth Letter j* dated 
February 14th, 1691 ; and to the latter in a " Stia^tk 
Letter concerning the Sacred Trinity," dated March 
14th, 1691. He concludes his "Sixth Letter" by 
re-affirming the substance of what he had before 
stated respecting the Trinity ; namely, — ^^' that what 
in one consideration are Three, may in another con- 
sideration be but One ; that we may safely say (with- 
put absurdity, contradiction, or inconsistence with 
reason) there may be in God three Somewhais (which 
we commonly called Persons) that are but One Gkd ; 
that these three are more than three names, but not 
three Gods; and that God the Creator, God the 
Redeemer, and God the Sanctifier, (otherwise called 
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy 
Ghost,) are such three."* 

On the 11th of August, 1691, the Doctor finished 
"-4 Seventh Letter concerning the Sacred Trinity; 
occasioned by a Second Letter from W. J." He 
then published " Three Sermons concerning the 
Sacred Trinity;" and on the 23rd of November, 
1691, brought his part of this protracted ocmtro- 
versy to a close, by the publication of "-4n Eighth 
Letter concerning the Sacred Trinity; occasioned 
by some Letters to him on that Subject : by John 
Wallis, D. D., Professor of Geometry in Oxford." 

While the venerable Savilian Professor was en- 
gaged in defending the doctrine of the Trinity after 
his own peculiar manner, Dr. Sherlockj a Trinitarian 

• P. 18. 



belonging to a very different school, published "A 
Vindication of the Holy and Ever-blessed Trinity, 
and the Incarnation of the Son of God ; occasioned 
by the * Brief Notes on the Creed of St. Athanasius,' 
and the ' Brief History of the Unitarians, or Soci- 
nians;' and containing an Answer to both." These 
tracts appear also to have elicited replies from two 
Dr three other writers of less celebrity ; — /. Savage, 
Gent, the Rev. TV. Basset, and a Mr. Marlow. 

Mr. Savage attacked the " Brief Notes," in " An 
Answer to an anonimons Pamphleteer, who im- 
pugns the Doctrine contain'd in St. Athanasius his 
Creed. London, 1690," 4to. He scrupled not to 
eall the writer of the tract upon which he animad- 
verted " this deist/'* " this deistical author," f and 
**ihis great oracle of the deists." J His style, and 
ideas, as far as they can be discovered through the 
doud of Qietaphysics in which they are enveloped, 
soar hi above the capacities of ordinary readers. 
The author of the " Brief Notes," in a reply to Dr. 
Sherlock, thanked Mr. Savage, in the name of the 
dnitarians, for the anxiety which he had shewn to 
inform and instruct them ; and requested him not 
to be offended, if they also advised him, the next 
time he penned anything for the illiterate and vul- 
^, to do it more inteUigibly, because 

Learning's light, when held too high, goes out.§ 

Mr. Basset's work bore the following title. " An 
Ajiswer to the 'Brief History of the Unitarians, 

• Pp. 3. 5. 6. 13. t P. 8- X ^' 10- 

f The Acts of Great Athanasius, with Notes, by way of Ulustration, 
m his Creed, 1690, p. 32. 


called also Socinians:' by William Basset, Bector 
of St. Swithin, London. Lond. 1693," l^no. It 
was dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury; 
and the author professes to have answered not only 
the "Brief History," but "some things in more 
manly writers, as Eriedinus," (probably a mistake 
for EnjedinusJ " CreUius, &c." The vulgarity and 
insolence of the author is exceeded only by his 
dulness; and to the following remarks from the 
pen of the writer upon whom he animadverts, his 
contemptible production owes its escape from the 
oblivion which it so justly merited. "His book 
being such as it is, if the Brief History cannot shift 
for itself, against that Reply to it ; the historian is 
resolved it shall take its fortune : he is perswaded, 
that when a discerning man has read Mr. Basset's 
Answer ; if he again looks over the Brief History, 
he will (at least) as much approve of it, as at first. 
Mr. Basset has said nothing, that can in the least 
shake the reputation of the Brief History ; unless 
his reader will believe him, when he charges the 
historian with false quotations of authors. To this 
the historian answers ; that he hath not made one 
false or mistaken citation: but Mr. Basset some- 
times not understanding the authors that are quoted, 
for they are Greek and Latin ; and sometimes mis- 
taking the sense of the historian, which he doth 
very frequently ; it hath happened hereupon, that 
he hath charged the historian with his own either 
ignorances or inadvertences. But I am not at ld« 
sure to write a Vindication, every time that n^U- 
gent and ignorant scribblers mistake my meaning, 
or the sense of the authors by me alledged. — ^When 


I happen on some such second as Dr. Sherlock, Mr. 
Basset may hear from me, and not before."* 

Of Mr. Marlow's part in this controversy, no 
vestiges have yet been traced by the present writer. 

The " Brief Notes " and " Brief History," which 
called forth so much animadversion from the pens 
of Trinitarians, were composed at the instance of 
Mr. Firmin.f Dr. Sherlock, who had been sus- 
pended from his preferments in the Church, for 
refrising to take the oaths to the new government, 
had abundant leisure on his hands, when he pre- 
pared his reply to them. The opinion which he 
advocates in his "Vindication," is precisely that 
which is attacked in the " Brief Notes " and " Brief 
History," and has been reduced into the form of a 
Creed4 as follows. 

" I believe there are three distinct intelligent, in- 
finite beings, minds, spirits, and persons; distin- 
guished just as three finite created minds or spirits 
are, as really distinct as three men, or as Peter, 
James and John : Each of them has a self-cansciouS" 
nesSy whereby he knows and feels himself, as really 
distinct from the other two divine persons. Also 
each of them has his own absolutely perfect (for 
there is no infinite) wisdom, goodness and power : 
and by a mutual consciousness each person of these 
has the whole wisdom, power and goodness of the 

* Considerations on the Explications of the Doctrine of the Trinity, 
by Dr. Wallis, &o. written to a Person of Quality. 1693, 4to. pp. 

t An Account of Mr. Firmin's Religion, and of the present State of 
the Unitarian Controversy. London, 1698, 8vo. p. 52. 

\ The Acts of Great Athanasius, &c. p. 20. 


other two persons. Each person has his own nnder- 
standing, will, and power of action. Finally, each 
of these beings, minds, spirits, persons, is God; 
nay each of them singly by himself is a God," 

The publication of Dr. Sherlock's book was wel- 
comed by the principal Divines and Preachers in 
London, and in both Universities ; and it was said, 
that, if it did not reclaim Mr. Firmin from his 
heresy, it would one day rise up in judgment ^[ainst 
him. The Doctor, a short time before ita puUica- 
ti(m, left the non-jurors. He was restored to aU the 
offices and emoluments, which he had forfeited, by 
refusing to take the oaths; and on the Idth of July, 
1691, obtained, in addition to them, the Deanery of 
St. Paul's. In this preferment he succeeded Tlllot- 
son, and it is said to have been given to him prin- 
cipally through His Grace's recommendation and 

Soon after the appearance of Dr. Sherlock's " Vin- 
dication," a small quarto pamphlet was published 
in double columns, and entitled, "The Acts of Great 
Athanasius, with Notes, by Way of Illustration, oa 
his Creed ; and Observations on the learned * Vin- 
dication of the Trinity and Incarnation, by Dr. 
William Sherlock,' 1690." This pamphlet furnished 
the model, upon which most of the Unitarian tracts 
of that period were published; and as several of 
these tracts were afterwards collected into volumes, 
the present may not be deemed an unsuitable place, 
in which to give the reader some idea of the first oi 
these Collections, which bore the following title : — 

* An Account of Mr. Firmin's Religion, &c. pp. 53, 54. Biog. Brit 
Vol. VII. Pt. i. p. 3683, Note N. 



" The Faith of One Gtod, who is only the Father ; 
and of One Mediator between God and Men, who 
is only the Man Christ Jesus; and of one Holy 
Spirit, the Gift (and sent) of God ; asserted and de- 
fended, in several Tracts contained in this Volume, 
&c. London, 1691." This Collection is introduced 
to the notice of the reader by " An Exhortation to 
a free and impartial Enquiry into the Doctrines of 
Religion ;" and contains, in addition to ^ A Short 
Account of the Life of John Bidle, M.A.," and a 
reprint of several of the writings of that eminent 
Unitarian confessor, " The Acts of Great Athana- 
sius;" the second edition, with enlargements, of 
'* Some Thoughts upon Dr. Sherlock's ' Vindication 
of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity;'" the second 
edition, corrected, with some additions, of " A Brief 
History of the Unitarians, called also Socinians;" 
" A Defence of the ' Brief History of the Unitari- 
ans,' against Dr. Sherlock's Answer in his ' Vindi- 
cation of the Holy Trinity;' " "An impartial Account 
of the Word Mystery, as it is taken in the Holy 
Scripture ;" " Doctor Wallis's Letter touching the 
Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, answer'd by his 
Friend;" and "Observations on the Four Letters 
of Dr. John Wallis, concerning the Trinity, and the 
Creed of Athanasius." All the above tracts, with 
the exception of John Biddle's, have a reference, 
more or less direct, to the controversy on which we 
are now treating; but as some of them have already 
come under our consideration, we will here confine 
our attention to those which are now, for the first 
time, introduced to the notice of the reader. 
In "The Acts of Great Athanasius" we have a 


brief outline of the eventful history of that busy 
ecclesiastic, and of the favour, which he and his 
doctrine found in the Catholic Church of his own 
age, in reply to the plausible account which Dr. 
Sherlock had given of him and his opinions, in his 
" Vindication." This is followed by a reprint erf 
the " Brief Notes on the Creed of Athanasius f 
and to the whole is subjoined an able reply to Dr. 
Sherlock's volume, in which the writer says, that 
the Doctor " hath given up to his adversary all the 
ancient defences of this Creed, and of the Trinity, 
on which his predecessors in this controversy were 
wont to insist, and has advanced, in their room, an 
hypothesis, or explication, never so much as named, 
or heard of before."* The author then enters upon 
a particular examination of what Dr. Sherlock has 
said, first, concerning the divine substance, nature, 
or essence : secondly, concerning the three persons, 
how each person is one with itself, and how they 
are distinguished from each other : and thirdly, con- 
cerning the manner in which they are united, and 
how they make but one God. 

The next tract is entitled, " Some Thoughts upon 
Dr. Sherlock's Vindication of the Doctrine of the 
Holy Trinity. London, 1691." The author of this 
tract professes himself a member of the Church of 
England ; but, like many others in that day, he was 
a genuine, unfettered disciple of the latitudinarian 
school. " I have no share," says he, " in those fac- 
tions, which most pitifully tear in pieces Christian-^ 
ity. I am neither a Papist, nor a Lutheran, nor a 
Calvinist, nor a Socinian. I am a Christian, I thank 

• P. 17. 


Grod. I side only with truth, and take shelter in 
the bosom of the Catholic Church, which stands 
independently upon anything that goes under the 
name of a party. I mean, that I do not give up my 
£Edth to those particular Confessions of Faith, which 
every sect endeavours to enlarge to an infinite bulk. 
I resolve my system into the Creed of the Universal 
Church, which by reason of its antiquity, but espe- 
cially of the authority of its doctrines, is rightly 
called the Apostles' Creed, and admitted of all Chris- 
tians, notwithstanding their implacable hatreds and 
divisions."* "As to the Creed of Nice or Athana- 
sius, it was the &ith of those who spoke Platonick 
or Peripatetick Philosophy: but which never de- 
scended to simple Christians, except perhaps by the 
means of blind and implicit faith. They were both 
conveyed to us, the one by a natural tradition, the 
other by a violent one. However, there is no reason 
to look for the faith of former ages in the philoso- 
phical writings of the Fathers : 'tis rather the Scho- 
lastic Divinity of those times. We must look for 
the common faith of that primitive Church in the 
people themselves ; and then indeed we shall find 
it such as Divine Providence did preserve it in the 
Apostles' Creed, "f " I am a Protestant upon such 
terms, and heartily embrace the communion of the 
Church of England, mdependently upon any faction 
whatsoever. And sure enough 'tis not against her 
I vmte, but only against the Doctor's Three Gods, 
and his new imposition of believing Self and Mutual 
Consciousness in order to be saved." :^ 
The author of " An Impartial Account of the 

• P. 18. t P. 20. } P. 19. 


word Mystery, as it is taken in the Holy Scripture^ 
London, 1691," informs ns, that the sacred writers 
mean by this word only a doctrine, or an event, 
which has been shut up in Grod's decree, or which 
appears to men at first under a veil of prophetic or 
figurative language, but is afterwards brought to 
light by a clearer revelation, or the fulfilment of a 
prediction ; so that the same truth, which has been 
a secret at one time, ceases to be such at another* 
In Scripture, he tells us, the word Mystery is never 
used to designate that which is in itself incompre* 
hensible. " Take your Concordance," says he, " and 
see all the places of the New Testament, wherein 
that word is made use of, you will be amaz'd to 
meet with none that excites in the mind the idea 
of a truth inconsistent with the natural lights of 
sense and reason."* He then proceeds to an eziu- 
mination of those passages of the New Testament, 
in which the word occurs, distributing them under 
the three following heads. First, " those wherein 
the doctrines, the success, or the events of the Gtos- 
pel are covered with parables and symbolical terms :" 
Secondly, " those wherein are mentioned some se- 
crets, wherewith God has intrusted some priviledged 
prophets of his new covenant :" and Thirdly, " those 
wherein are described God's general dispensations 
concerning men's salvation, advancing firom a dark 
and imperfect state to a clear and perfect revela- 
tion."'!' In allusion to Dr. Sherlock's attempt to 
explain the mystery of the Trinity, he says, " The 
name of Mystery is only a provisionary title bestowed 
on the Trinity, till some other system be found out, 

• P. 5. t Ibid. 



whereby it may be made clearer, and more agreeable 
to reaBon. It may be the Doctor is that blessed 
Christiau to whom Heaven had reserved the dis- 
covery thereof. If it be so, the hereticks will be 
convinced of error, but at least they shall enjoy the 
pleasure of seeing Mystery fall down, and of being 
satisfied about the evidence, and the reasonableness 
which they ask."* 

Some of the Clergy of the Church of England 
advocated the scheme of Dr. Sherlock; while others, 
and espedaUy the Divines connected with the Uni- 
versity of Oxford, shewed a preference for that of 
Dr. WaUis. Many, however, were dissatisfied with 
both schemes, and waited in expectation that some 
other, and abler champion would arise, and rescue 
the Church from the perilous position in which it 
had been placed, by the injudicious line of defence 
pursued by its friends. The laity, as well as the 
dei^, took a deep interest in the controversy, and 
ranged themselves under the banners of the differ- 
ent leaders. Some, it has been thought, ventured 
privately and anon3rmously to take part in the dis- 
cussion themselves; and a spirit of inquiry was 
awakened, the effects of which may be traced down 
even to our own times. But in the Church this 
controversy led to no definite result. There, as 
Archdeacon Blackbume remarks. Terminus has fixed 
hia pedestal ; and there has his station ever since 
been immovably keptf Some of the clergy, whose 
views became unsettled, were rendered uneasy in 
their position. The number, however, was not con- 

• P. 20. 

t The Confessional, 2nd Ed., Preface to the First Ed. p. xxxviii. 


siderable ; and when they ventured to speak out; 
they were generally borne down by clamour, or 
coerced by ecclesiastical authority. But an impres- 
sion was made upon a few of the more liberal Dis- 
senting Divines, particularly those of the Presby- 
terian denomination, which led some of them to 
embrace Sabellianism ; others, Arianism ; and others, 
a system of belief differing little, if at all, from that 
which is generally known, in the present day, by 
the name of Umtarianism. The Westminster Con- 
fession of Faith, with few exceptions, became a mere 
dead letter among the English Presbyterians ; and 
as they felt themselves at liberty to prosecute their 
inquiries without the fear of ecclesiastical censures, 
the consequences of this greater freedom soon be- 
came visible, not only among the Ministers, but also 
among the more inquisitive and intelligent mem- 
bers of the congregations over which they presided. 
In the year 1689, the Rev. Thomas Emlyn* 
went to reside at Lowestoft, in the County of Suf- 
folk, where he remained about a year and a hal^ 
and preached to a Dissenting congregation of the 
Presbyterian persuasion. During his residence in 
that town, he formed an acquaintance with the 
Rev. William MANNiNG,f of Peasenhall, a neigh- 
bouring Dissenting Minister of the same denomi- 
nation; and they studied together Dr. Sherlock's 
** Vindication of the Trinity and Incarnation." An 
attentive perusal of that work, instead of strength- 
ening their belief in the commonly received doc- 
trines on those subjects, raised doubts in the minds 
of both, which subsequent inquiry tended only to 

• Vide Art 360. t Vide Art. 359. 


onfirm. Mr. Manning became a believer in tbe 
iinple humanity of Jesus Christ ; and Mr. Eml3m, 
[lough he continued to regard our Saviour as the 
reexistent Logos, and the creator, under God, of 
lie material world, became a steady and consistent 
dvocate of the undivided Supremacy of the Father. 
Lfter his removal from the county of Suffolk, and 
is settlement with a Presbyterian congregation at 
)ublin, he encountered much obloquy, and was 
xposed to a vexatious and cruel persecution, on 
xjcount of his religious opinions. 

While these two excellent men, and sincere lovers 
f truth, were studying the Trinitarian controversy 
n their retirement in the county of Suffolk, an 
.ttempt was made, by some of the London Dissenting 
Ministers, to effect a union between the Presbyte- 
ians and Independents. But the time had gone by 
or the formation of a permanent union between 
hese two bodies ; and their divergences from each 
>ther were every day becoming so marked, that no 
cheme for uniting them could have been devised, 
vhich would not have contained within itself the 
eeds of its own dissolution. The two bodies, after 
heir coalescence, were to have the name of " United 
Brethren." In drawing up the " Heads of Agree- 
nent," Mr. Howe, assisted by Mr. Hammond, Mr. 
afterwards Dr.) Williams, Mr. Stretton, Dr. An- 
lesley, and Mr. Mayo, acted on the part of the 
Presbyterians; and Messrs. Griffith, Mead, Chauncy, 
[iObb, James and Mather, on that of the Inde- 
pendents.* The result of their joint deliberations 
was embodied in a document, entitled, " Heads of 

• Toulmin's Hint. View, Ch. i. p. 100. 
VOL. I. U 



Agreement assented to by the United Ministers in 
and about London, formerly called Presbyterian and 
Congregational. "♦ In these " Heads of Agreement," 
both the Presbyterians and Congregationalists de- 
parted considerably from the principles, on which 
their respective communities had been originally 
framed. They were considered as binding, how- 
ever, upon none, but those who might voluntarily 
adopt them. The attempt to impose them upon 
others was distinctly disavowed, as forming no part 
of the contemplated plan of union ; and all claims 
to coercive power were declared to be no less at 
variance with the principles of those who took the 
lead in this movement, than with their circumstances 
as Dissenters from the Established Church. The 
parties joining this Union were to be left at liherty 
to declare their assent to the doctrinal articles of 
the Church of England ; or to the liOnger or Shorter 
Catechism of the Assembly of Divines at Westmin- 
ster ; or to the Confession agreed upon by the In- 
dependents at the Savoy. But notwithstanding this 
latitude of choice, doctrinal diflFerences still remained, 
and were warmly agitated both in the pulpit, and 
in conversation."!" 

After the preliminaries were agreed upon, the 
commencement of the Union was celebrated by a 
reUgious service at Stepney, on the 6th of April, 
1691, when the Rev. Matthew Mead preached a 
Sermon from Ezek. xxxvii. 19, which, in conformity 

• Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William WliistoD, Pt 
ii. pp. 549—560. 

t An Historical Account of my own Life, &c., by Edmund Calamy, 
D.D, Lond. 1830, Vol. L p. 323. 


mth the taste of the Dissenters of that age, was 
entitled, " Two Sticks made one." Very important 
results were anticipated from this " Happy Union," 
as it was called: and if hoth parties had entered 
into it, with a full determination to sink all minor 
differences, and to act cordially together for the 
benefit of the dissenting interest, it might indeed 
have proved a " Happy Union." But the sanguine 
anticipations of its promoters were destined soon to 
meet with a fatal disappointment. The Independ^ 
ents, as a body, never entered heartily into the 
scheme ; and several of the more influential of them 
refused to lend their concurrence, in carrying it 
mto effect. Nor was the number great of those, 
who were satisfied with standing neutral. Not a 
few did all in their power to prevail upon others, 
" with whom they agreed on doctrinal points," and 
who had actually given in their adhesion to the 
Union, to detach themselves from it, and never 
ceased till they had accomplished their object.* 

Little opposition, however, was raised in the coun- 
try against this attempt to unite the Presbyterian 
and Independent bodies. The Cheshire Ministers 
subscribed their assent to the "Heads of Agree- 
ment" in March, 1691 ; and those of Nottingham- 
shire, the Southern part of Lancashire, and the 
West-Riding of Yorkshire followed, in the summer 
of the same year. The West-Riding meeting was 
held at Wakefield on the 2nd of September ; and 
twenty-four Ministers were assembled on the occa^ 
sion. The Rev. Richard Frankland, a Presbyterian 
Minister, was the only one who started any objec- 

• Tmdmin's HUt View, Ch. ii. p. ISS. 



tions ; and his objections were overruled. But an 
incident occurred, which shews that the relaxation 
of ecclesiastical discipline had already begun to pro- 
duce its natural eflFects. The Rev. Matthew Smith, 
also a Presbyterian Minister, and one who was 
known to entertain heterodox opinions on certain 
doctrinal points, proposed to the assembled Minis- 
ters these questions: — Whether he was bound to 
declare in his ministry the whole counsel of Godi 
and. Whether he should preach in favour of disci- 
pline 1 These questions, to which no answer could 
be returned without considerable qualifications, oc- 
casioned some little embarrassment, particularly as 
a member of Mr. Smith's own congregation, who 
happened to be present, said, that no attempt had 
ever been made to restrain him from preaching on 
the subject of discipline. But the Ministers inter- 
posed, and recommended peace and union.* 

The Union lasted about three years; and the 
immediate occasion of its dissolution was a mis- 
understanding, which arose out of the Tuesday- 
morning's Lecture at Pinners'-Hall. This Lecture 
had been established during the operation of King 
Charles's Declaration of Indulgence, in 1672. The 
Presbyterians being then the larger, and more in- 
fluential body, four Presbyterians were joined by 
two Independents, to preach by turns; and for 
some years the two denominations acted together, 
without any very serious differences. At first, in- 
deed, there were some slight disagreements, arising 
out of the high points of Calvinism ; but these gra- 
dually died away, and the Lecture was continued, 

• Hunter's Life of Oliver Heywood, p. 376. 


without any material intermption, till the year 1694, 
when fresh disputes arose, occasioned entirely hy 
doctrinal differences. Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Daniel 
Williams, the munificent founder of the Library in 
Red-Cross Street, London, and other valuable cha- 
rities, who succeeded Baxter in the Lecture, had 
written against the rigid tenets of Dr. Crisp ; and 
this was seized upon as a pretext for excluding him 
from the Lecture.* Mr. Stephen Lobb chained 
Mr. Williams with favouring the Socinian views, 
respecting the efficacy of Christ's death, — a charge 
which certainly had no foundation in truth, although 
Mr. Williams's opinion fell far short of Mr. Lobb's 
standard of orthodoxy. Failing, therefore, to ac- 
complish their object, by charging him with heresy, 
other intrigues were set on foot, by the more vio- 
lent of the Calvinistic party. But this scheme also 
proved abortive.f Toland^ alluding to the perse- 
cuting spirit of the more rigid orthodox Dissenters 
of those times, says, " This naturally leads men to 
think that should the Dissenters once more get the 
secular sword into their hands, they would press 
uniformity of sentiments in religion as far as any 
other Protestants or Papists ever yet have done: 
witness their inhuman treatment of Daniel Wil- 
liams (a sober man and a judicious divine) for no 
cause that I can discern, but that he made Chris- 
tianity plainer than some of his colleagues in the 
ministry, and that, it may be, he takes a greater 
latitude than such as through their ignorance can- 

* W%h<m*8 Dissenting Churches, Vol. II. p. 251. 
t Ibid. pp. 201—204. 


not, or will not from design." ♦ While these things 
were passing, the Presbyterians were so disgusted, 
that, in 1694, Dr. Bates, and Messrs. Howe, Alsop, 
and Williams, the four Presbyterian lecturers, with- 
drew, and established another Lecture at Salters' 
Hall, having chosen Mr. Mayo and Dr. Annesley to 
make up their number to six.-j" Attempts were 
made in the two following years to bring about a 
reiinion ; but they had no other eflfect, than that of 
producing a more confirmed feeling of alienation.^ 
It was found, that the difference in doctrinal views, 
which had grown up between the two denominsp 
tions, was such as to interpose an effectual bar to 
any scheme for their consolidation ; and from that 
time to the present the ground of difference between 
them has been one of doctrine, and not of Church 
government. "The two denominations of Pres- 
byterians and Independents," says Dr. Toulmin^^ 
" became distinct communities, and acted separately 
with respect to their own denominations : and the 
ground of this separation being in doctrinal senti- 
ments, the terms came afterwards to signify, not a 
difference in Church government, according to their 
original meaning, but in doctrinal opinions: the 
latter being applied to denote the reception of Cal- 
vinistic, the former to signify the belief of Arminian 
sentiments; or respectively of Creeds similar to 
either system." 

In a book published in 1698, and entitled, " A 

• The Life of John Milton, &c. London, 1699, p. 78. 

t Wilson* 8 Dissenting Churches, Vol. II. p. 25 L 

X Calamy's Abridgement of Baxter's Life, pp. 549, 550. 

§ Hist. View, Ch. ii. pp. 213, 214. 


History of the Union between the Presbyterian and 
Congr^^tional Ministers in and abont London, and 
the Causes of the Breach of it,^ the writer states,* 
as a reason why some of the Independent ^luusters 
never joined it, *^ that some bnsy actors in forming 
the union had given just suspicions of their hetero- 
doxy." This book is quoted by the Ret. James 
Brooks^ in his excellent and unanswerable pam- 
phlet, entitied, " ThePrevalence of Arianism amongst 
English Presbyterians in the early part of the last 
Century, considered in Relation to Lady Hewley's 
Charity, and to Presbyterian Endowments. London, 
1837."—" The object of the book," remarks the 
author of this pamphlet,f " is to vindicate some of 
the Congregational Ministers who had dissented 
from the union. The writer says, ' They were dis- 
satisfied about the union itself, because they thought 
of it in general, that it was no more than a verbal 
composition, or a number of articles, industriously 
and designedly framed with great ambiguity, that 
persons retaining their different sentiments about 
the self-same things, might not seem to unite only 
because they agreed to express themselves in equu 
vocal and comprehensive words. — They that dis- 
sented from the union (he goes on to say) durst not 
recommend and hold this out as a real agreement 
when they did believe it to be no such thing. It 
looked too like want of sincerity among the Noncon- 
formists themselves, as if they were about to sup- 
plant and deceive one another. It had too much 
of the appearance of putting a cheat upon the world, 

• p. 3. t Pp. 13, 14. 


as if the Presbyterian and Congregational brethren 
were agreed, when both sides were resolved not in 
the least to recede from their former principles and 
practices.' The only thing that surprises one is, 
that any men of sense could have expected the 
union to be lasting." 

No one is better qualified than the author of 
" Illustrations and Proofs of the Historical Argu- 
ment of the Appellants," [Samuel Shore and others, 
in the Lady Hewley Case,]* to give a correct opi- 
nion of the state of the Presbyterian Dissenters, at 
the time of which we are now writing. " The aera 
of the earlier Presbyterian foundations," says he,| 
"which we may fix at from 1689 to 1709, was a 
period when the minds of men were beginning to 
regard with great distrust the conclusions at which 
many of the early Reformers had arrived, especially 
the Calvins and Bezas of the Geneva school. With- 
out going back to the controversies at the dawn of 
the Reformation, or even to the Remonstrant Con- 
troversy in Holland, or to the Calvinian and Armi- 
nian controversy in the Church of England in the 
times of Archbishop Laud, it is indisputable that 
the writings of Grotius, and after him of Le Clerc, 
upon the Continent, had begun to produce a very 
sensible eflect on the Protestant section of the 
Christian world ; to shew the difficulties which en- 
vironed truths which in the age before had been 
thought unquestionable; and to give increase of 
confidence to those few persons who in the seven- 
teenth century had fancied that they perceived in 
what is called the Socinian view the true view of 

• London, 1839, fol. f P- 21. 


the gospel of Christ. England had not been with- 
out Divines who had thrown aside the Calvinian 
system, and exposed themselves to the charge of 
Socinianism. Such men as Bishop Jeremy Taylor, 
Chillingworth, and Hales of Eton, had contended 
for the liberty of private interpretation, and at the 
same time had presented to the world notions of 
Christian truth which, to say the least, are very 
different from those embodied in the Assembly's 
Catechism, which in 1644 was the symbol of faith 
which the Presbyterians had sent forth, or in the 
Savoy Confession, the symbol of the Independents. 
Even Baxter was charged (as Calamy states) with 
a leaning to Socinianism; and in the disputes of 
1694, this charge was openly made against the 
Presbyterian party in generaL" 

Prom what has now been observed, it will be 
seen, that the departure of Emlyn and Manning 
from the high orthodoxy, which had characterized 
the Presbyterian body during the time of the Com* 
monwealth, and the reigns of the Stuarts, was not 
a solitary case. There is a remarkable passage in 
Dr. Calamjfs " Historical Account of his own Life 
and Times,"* which tends to shew that, as early a« 
the year 1693, symptoms of declining orthodoxy 
had already begun to appear in the body of English 
Presbyterians. " The contest amongst the Dissent- 
ing Ministers," says he, "went on this year, and 
rose higher instead of abating. Several papers were 
successively drawn up, in order to an accommoda^ 
tion, but to little purpose. They only created fresh 
debates, one side being very ready to suspect their 

• VoL L p. 337. 


brethren of verging towards Arminianism, or even 
Socinianism ; and they on the other side being ex- 
tremely tender of anything that might be capable 
of giving encouragement to Antinomianism." A 
similar remark is made, in nearly the same words, 
by Dr. Calamy, in his " Life of Mr. John Howe,'* 
prefixed to the Works of that reverend and learned 
person, in two volumes, folio.* The Doctor, in this 
latter place, goes on to observe, that " several new 
Creeds were fram'd, and still objected against by 
some one or other, either as too large or too straight, 
too full or too empty," till at length, to use his own 
words, " the world was wearied out with pamphlets 
and creed-making." 

While this change was going on in the Presby- 
terian body, a similar leaning towards heterodoxy 
manifested itself, in a prominent and decided man- 
ner, among the General Baptists. Mr. Matthew 
Caffin, who was Minister of a Baptist congregation 
at Horsham, in Sussex, had been accused of heresy 
by Mr. Joseph Wright, of Maidstone; but the 
General Assembly determined not to entertain the 
charge. Mr. Caffin admitted, "that there were 
some propositions in the Athanasian Creed, which 
were above his understanding, after the most diU- 
gent and impartial examination ; and therefore he 
never had [received], nor could as yet receive it as 
the standard of his faith." In 1693, the chai^ 
against him, of denying our Lord's divinity, was 
repeated, but with as little success as before. The 
General Assembly determined not to take measures 
for his expulsion ; and this determination on their 

• P. 60. 


part occasioned a secession of the minority, which 
was followed by a long controversy. In the mean 
time a resolution was passed by the more liberal 
majority, declaring, *^ that all debates, public or 
private, respecting the Trinity, should be managed 
in Scripture words and terms, and no other." This 
led to the formation of a new Baptist connexion, 
under the name of " The Greneral Association ;" but 
liberal sentiments ultimately gained the preponder- 
ance,* which they have maintained to this day, 
amidst aU the vicissitudes to which the body of 
General Baptists has been exposed. 

We cannot wonder that thoughtM men of dif- 
ferent denominations were incited to the study of 
the Trinitarian controversy, when some fresh pub- 
lication on the subject was almost daily making its 
appearance. The tracts of the Unitarians were 
closely argumentative, and adapted to make a favour- 
able impression upon reflecting and unprejudiced 
minds. They had the advantage also of being short, 
and therefore soon read and easily digested; nor 
was there any lack of zeal on the part of Mr. Firmin 
and others, in giving them an extended circulation. 
The only ground for surprise is, that such zeal did 
not receive an earlier and more eflfectual check from 
the civil power. When arguments are found in- 
adequate to the support of opinions, which have 
obtained the sanction of prescriptive authority, the 
legislature and the magistrate are generally ready 
enough to step in, and lend their assistance in favour 
of the established Creed. The first attempt of this 

• Mon. Rep. 1S27, p. 484. Tovdmin's Hist. View, Ch. iii. Sect ii. 
§ 3, pp. 308—312. 


kind, during the Trinitarian controversy of the reign 
of WiUiam III., was made at the beginning of the 
year 1693, when one William Fbeeke,* the author 
of a tract entitled " A brief and clear Confutation 
of the Trinity," of which copies were sent, under 
cover, to several members of both Houses of Parliap 
ment, was sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred 
pounds, and give bail for his good behaviour during 
the next three years, as well as to make a public 
recantation. But this harsh sentence had not the 
effect of silencing the Unitarian writers ; for in the 
course of the very same year, another volume of 
tracts, on the same side of the question, was collected, 
and put into extensive circulation. 

This volume was entitled, "A Second Collection 
of Tracts, proving the God and Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ the only True God ; and Jesus Christ 
the Son of God, him whom the Father sanctified 
and sent, raised from the dead and exalted: and 
disproving the Doctrine of Three Almighty and 
Equal Persons, Spirits, Modes, Subsistences, or 
Somewhats in God ; and of the Incarnation." 4to. 
In the title-page of this collection no date is given ; 
but it appears from evidence, supplied by the tracts 
themselves, that the Collection could not have been 
made before the year 1693. The tracts contained 
in this volume relate, for the most part, either directly 
to the doctrine of the Trinity, or to some of the in- 
quiries involved in that doctrine; and with the 
exception of the last, they appear to have been 
printed in the interval, which elapsed between the 
publication of Dr. Sherlock's " Vindication of the 

• Vide Art, 354. 


Trinity and Incarnation," and the appearance of 
Dr. SotUh's "Animadversions," respecting which 
more will be said hereafter. 

The clergy, for some time, took no notice, from 
the press, of Dr. Sherlock's book. The more learned 
among them, on a careful perusal of its contents, 
saw that the Doctor's scheme was open to numer- 
ous and weighty objections ; and were by no means 
eager to make common cause with a writer, who 
had advanced such novel opinions, and expressed 
himself in such unguarded terms. The Unitarians, 
on the other hand, perceived that he had fairly laid 
himself open to the charge of Tritheism, and were, 
not slow in turning to account the advantage which 
he had given them. The consequence was, that, 
for a year or two, the most eminent Divines of the 
Church of England published scarcely anything on 
the subject of the Trinitarian controversy, while 
the press teemed with books and tracts from the 
pens of Unitarian writers. "The Observations of 
the Socinians," says a contemporary author, " opened 
all men's eyes to see and acknowledge, that Dr. 
Sherlock had greatly overshot the mark ; and that 
it was necessary that he should yield his place to 
some new opponent, who (in these disputes with 
the Socinians) would speak more cautiously. All 
endeavours therefore were used by his friends to 
persuade Dr. Sherlock to be quiet: and because 
such an example had been made of him, they stop- 
ped awhile all sermons and other tracts that were 
going to the press against the Socinians. The poli- 
ticians among them feared the success of a war that 
in its beginnings had been so unsuccessfril : they 


said one to another, We need not trouble ourselres 
with the Socinians ; because, being masters of all 
the pulpits, we can sufficiently dispose the people 
to the orthodox belief, without the help of printed 
answers and replies." Hence it was, that, during 
the publication of the tracts, from which the ** Se- 
cond Collection" was formed, scarcely anything 
made its appearance on the Trinitarian side of the 
question. The Unitarians met with few opponents, 
and for a considerable time remained undisputed 
masters of the field. This " Historical Introduc- 
tion," however, would be incomplete, without some 
account of the tracts published by the Unitarians 
during that period. In the further treatment of 
this subject, therefore, our next aim must be to 
fiimish such an account, relying principally upon 
information supplied by the tracts themselves. 

The first tract in the "Second Ck)llection" is 
entitled, "A Letter of Resolution concerning the 
Doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation ; giving 
the general Reasons of the Unitarians against those 
Doctrines." The reasons assigned, which are clearly 
stated, and ably supported by argument, are as fol- 
low: " 1. The doctrines of the Trinity and Incar- 
nation have no solid or good foundation in revela- 
tion or Holy Scripture. 2. There has never yet 
been an apology or defence made, (nor can be,) for 
the confessed inconsistency of these doctrines with 
reason, but what is equally applicable to Transub- 
stantiation, or any other absurd and impossible doc- 
trine. 3. These doctrines are as little consistent 
with piety towards God, as they are with reason 
and natural knowledge. 4. They have crumbled 



the Christian Church into innumerable and unre- 
concilable factions and parties ; so that there is no 
possible way of restoring peace, but by returning to 
the belief and profession of the Unity of God. 5. 
They have been partly the direct and necessary 
causes, partly the unhappy occasions of divers scan- 
dalous and hurtful errors and heresies ; particularly 
of those v^^hich compose the gross body of Popery. 
6. They are of paganick or heathen descent and ori- 
ginal, and were introduced into the Church by the 
Flatonick philosophers, when they came over to 
Christianity. 7. As the Trinity, when first brought 
into the Church by the Platonists, did, by its natural 
absurdity and impossibility, give a check and stop 
to the progress of the gospel ; so ever since it has 
served to propagate Deism and Atheism, and to 
hinder the conversion of the Jews and Mahometans, 
and the heathen nations not yet turned to Chris- 
tianity." From the position which this tract occupies 
in the volume, it may be inferred, that it was writ- 
ten in the year 1692. It is without either date, or 
title-page; but the leading subject is specified at 
the head of the tract. 

The same remark will apply to the second tract 
in the volume, which consists, as the inscription 
informs us, of " Two Letters touching the Trinity 
and Incarnation : the first urging the Belief of the 
Athanasian Creed ; the second, an Answer thereto." 
In the former of these Letters, which is short, occu- 
pying not more than a single page, the writer ex- 
postulates vdth his " loving cousin," on hearing that 
he has " fallen into the horrid heresy of the Soci- 
nians and Arians ;" charges him with pride, conceit. 


arrogance, and a love of singularity, for adoptmg 
such heretical notions ; and exhorts him to retrace 
his steps, as he values the good opinion of his kins- 
man. The author of the second Letter begs to be 
informed, on what principle of philosophy, or by 
what rule of language, it can be correct to say, that 
the Father is a divine person, the Son is a divine 
person, and the Holy Ghost is a divine person, and 
therefore there are three divine persons; and yet, 
when it is asserted, that the Father is God, the Son 
is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, it should at the 
same time be denied, that there are three Gods ?♦ 
He further asks, why his correspondent can say, 
with Dr. Wallis, that such terms as person^ father^ 
son and begotten^ are metaphorical ; and yet deny to 
those, whom he brands with the name of heretics, 
the right to interpret the word God^ when applied 
to Christ, with the same latitude, and to regard this 
also as a metaphorical expression ?f In a Postscript, 
he alludes to the fact, " that the learned Dr. Ham- 
mond, who made a large practical Catechism, could 
find no place in his book for the great spring of the 
Trinity;" and adds, "No question but he look'd 
upon it as a thing altogether useless, and uncapable 
of moving the heart of man; — a dry and empty 
opinion, a bone without marrow or meat, which can 
afford a Christian soul no sort of good nourishment 
in order to piety. "J 

The third tract in the volume bears the following 
title : " An accurate Examination of the principal 
Texts usually alledged for the Divinity of our Sa- 
viour ; and for the Satisfaction by him made \o the 
• P. 3. t P- 4. X P. 14. 

Justice of God, far die Siiis of Men: occmsMoed by 
a Book of Ifir. L, J CUmuau called. ^MTstoies (in 
Rdigkm) Tindkated.' London. It59^" Tlie foil 
title of the work, to wiudi tfak ms m rephr. is ms 
follows. '^ MTsleiies in Belisioii Tindicated : or the 
Fllialioii, Deity and Satis&ction of oar SaTioor as^ 
serted, against Socinians and others : with occasHHud 
BeflectioQS on sereial late F^unj^ilets : by lAike 
Milbaumej a Presbyter of the Chorch of Eogland, 
London, 1692." This book is dedicated -to the 
Right Seyerend Fadier in God, Henry^ Lord Bishop 
of London, Dean of the Chapel Koyal, and one cf 
the Lords of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy 
C!onnciL" The author profi^sses his design in writing 
it to have been, to secure those who should read it 
from damnable errors ; to promote the glory of the 
Son of God, whose divinity, as he says, had been 
^^ boldly impeach'd, and blasphemously deny'd by a 
pestilent crew of subtle and insinuating Hereticks f" 
and to confirm that £uth in Christ, which, as a 
Presbyter of the Church of England, he, in common 
with other members of that Church, professed, and 
in which they hoped to die.* In his Preface, Mr« 
M. makes the following coarse allusion to Mr. Fir* 
min, the leading patron and promoter of Unita- 
nanism in those times : — " It has affixed no small 
scandal upon some otherwise venerable names that 
they have made their converse too cheap to the bold 
spreader of Socinian papers, and while he takes 
courage to break laws under covert of their patron- 
age, they can no way better vindicate the Church 
of God, or their own reputations, or repress impu- 

• p. 1. 

VOL. I. X 


dent ignorance, than by a vigorous and speedy 
opposition to his pernicious endeavours." In allud- 
ing to some of the anonymous Unitarian tracts, 
which had appeared, and which he occasionally 
notices in the course of his volume, he says, " No- 
thing but sophistry and confidence runs through 
them ; the conscience of which made them employ 
a pert smatterer in ignorance as their hawker, to dis- 
perse their new-fangled theology about the countrey, 
as if it were fit one employed so much in the dis- 
pose of public charity should, to keep the ballance 
even between heaven and hell, pervert and poyson 
the souls of the impertinently curious, unthinking 
and injudicious part of mankind. " Mr. M. concludes 
his prefatory remarks in the following manner : " If 
He [the author] has offered anything New or Solid 
in vindication of our Ancient Faith, it will tend 
extremely to his satisfaction. If he have err'd in 
any matter of weight, he begs his Holy Mother's 
pardon, to the censure of whose lawful governors, 
he humbly submits All he has written, and can con- 
clude his Preface with nothing more apposite than 
that petition of our Sacred Mother in her Litany, 
' From all false doctrine, heresie and schism, from 
hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word and 
commandment, — Good Lord, deliver us.' " In refer- 
ence to this concluding paragraph, the author of the 
"Accurate Examination" says, "The worst thing, 
to my fancy, in Holy Mother-Church, is this, that 
she is such an Individuum Vagum ; in one place she 
is one thing, in another she is just the contrary : 
she is not the same in England (for instance) that 
she is at Rome, or at Geneva, or in Germany, and 


tbe two Northern Kingdoms, or in the Provinces of 
the Levant : in all these places she is so different a 
peiscHU that she mortally hates, and furiously per* 
secates her own sel£ — But after all that reverence 
which any pretend to have for this Holy Motlier^ 
'tis certain there is nothing really meant by <Hir 
Holy Mother the CkMrck, but only rt^ strongest siH^^ 
or the prevailing party/'* 

The " Accurate Examination " is written in the 
epistolary form, and addressed to T. F. [Thomas 
Firmin]. In the Preface, which contains an answer 
to Mr. M/s scurrilities, addressed to himself per* 
sonally, the author thus vindicates Mr. Firmin s 
character from the aspersions which his RoTtend 
calumniator has cast upon it. "* Pert smatterer in 
ignorance:' so says the Revereftd Mr. L. M., and 
this was the best thing he could say, when he un- 
dertook to give a character of T. F. But I find that 
the Most Reverend are in a very different story con- 
cerning this gentleman. The Metropolitan of all 
England thought fit to say of him, ' That worthy 
and useful citizen Mr. T. F.' (Fun. Sermon on Mr. 
Gk)uge« p. 63.) What may be the reason that T. F. 
is drawn in such different colours? I think 'tis 
not hard to find the reason. Some, because they 
heartily love God, and reverence virtue and well- 
doing, can think and speak respectfully even of those 
from whom they differ very widely in their senti- 
ments about the controverted points of Christianity : 
for Grod's sake, they can cordially smile upon a good 
man, though they think him in error ; and they arc 
of opinion, because the Holy Scriptures have said 

• Pref. p. vii. 



it, that fervent charity is greater than &ith. But 
others, measuring all persons and things by only die 
narrow interests of themselves, and their party, and 
whoUy excluding God and the relation to him, raU 
against their adversaries, giving aU men to the devU 
that are of a belief contrary to theirs. — ^Well, but 
what might be the very meaning of this criticism 
on T. F., — 'pert smatterer in ignorance"? I sup- 
pose the meaning is, T. F. has had his education at 
London, not at Cambridge or Oxford; he knows 
nothing oiPredicahles^ Predicaments and Syllogisms; 
nor has ever learned there to drink the third or 
fourth bottle for his own share. What an unhappy 
education was this, that his friends took no care to 
make him a fool and a debauch ; that the gifts and 
impressions of God and nature have not been efiSeu^ed 
by a sort of institution, which sometimes to make a 
scholar, defaces both the man and the Christian t 
T. F. has only reason and good sense ; how unlucky 
was it, that he should not destroy them by Logick 
and Metaphysicks ? However, I am of opinion, 
T. F. will make his natural talents go as far, and 
do him as much service and credit, as Logick and 
Metaphysicks, and skill of the bottle, will do for 
L. M. or for his cause."* 

In allusion to the charge against Mr. Firmin, of 
being the Socinian's " hawker, to disperse their new- 
fangled divinity," certain hints are thrown out con- 
cerning the results of Mr. M.'s own experience in 
the book-hawking line. " But why," says his Uni- 
tarian examiner, " is our Divinity * new-fangled '1 
It hath two such marks of antiquity, by confession 

• Pref. pp. iv, T, 


of our very opposers, that could they shew either 
of them for their Divinity, we would make little 
difficulty of coming over to their party. For, first, 
'tis acknowledged by the most learned of our oppo- 
sers, that the Patriarchal Ages, and the Church of 
the Old Testament, never knew the doctrine of the 
Trinity;" and "secondly, the Apostles' Creed, the 
only monument of true antiquity, besides the Bible, 
which the Christian Church has, is owned to be 
wholly Unitarian."* 

With regard to the last charge advanced against 
Mr. Firmin, of keeping the balance even between 
heaven and hell, by taking care of the bodies of 
men, while he is employed in perverting and poi- 
soning their souls, the author of the "Accurate 
Examination" asks, " Do you really think, that this 
gentleman ever endeavoured to proselyte to his par- 
ticular perswasion any of the objects of charity, with 
whom he is concerned? Does he, think you, seek 
to gather a Church out of the hospitals, the prisons, 
the comers of streets, or of such persons as are 
ready to perish for want of bread or clothes 1" f 
Mr. M. is then challenged to give but a single in- 
stance of what he would insinuate ; and reminded, 
that the age does not " so abound with men who 
make it any part of their business to minister to 
the wants of others, that it should be advisable to 
discourage such persons by false and scandalous 

The " Accurate Examination of Mysteries vin- 
dicated" extends through twelve chapters, ten of 
which are devoted to the consideration of the texts 

• Pref. p. V. t P. vi. t Ibid. 



usually alleged in favour of the Divinity of our 
Lord ; and the remaining two to those, which are 
commonly thought to inculcate the doctrine of 
Christ's Satisfaction to the Justice of God for the 
sins of men. The inquiry is conducted with great 
skill and ability; and the refutation of Mr. M/s 
pretended scriptural proofs of the above doctrines 
is full and complete. 

The fourth tract is entitled, " Reflections on Two 
Discourses concerning the Divinity of our Saviour ; 
writted by Monsieur Lamoth in French, and done 
into English: written to J. S. London, 1693." 
This tract is not placed in the exact order of pub- 
lication, for there are others in the same volume, 
which are dated a year earlier ; but as it was the 
production of the same person who wrote the an- 
swer to Mr. Milbourne,* it was perhaps thought 
better, for that reason, to place the two together. 
Dr. Toulmin suggests,f and the hint deserves con- 
sideration, that the letters " J. S.," in the title-page 
of this tract, may refer to Mr. John Smith, the 
author of " The Designed End to the Socinian Con- 
troversy," of which we shall have occasion to speak 
more fully hereafter. 

M. Lamoth, the author of the " Two Discourses 
concerning the Divinity of our Saviour," was one 
of the French refugees, who sought an asylum in 
England, when driven by the violence of persecu- 
tion from their own country, in the years 1680 and 
1681. Mr. Firmin took a lively interest in the 
fate of these exiles from their native land for con- 

• Reflections on Ti;?o Discourses, &c. p. 14. 
t Mon. Rip. 1813, p. 444. 


sdence' sake, and materially oonlnbvited to the 
aUeriation of Uieir safferingiiL Eren damjk to the 
year 1693, the date of die puUkalkm of the tnct 
which has led to these lemaxka, this #^nifir»t jAi- 
lanthropist ecmtiniied his exertkos Ibr their idief ;^ 
and if their own bitter experienoe hsid not led then 
to reflect, how abhorrent penecntioB, lOHier every 
form, is fincnn the sjuit of the Christian nhoam^ 
still it might haTe been expected, thai the eommum 
feelings of gratitude woold hare leprcated within 
them the inclination to act the part of spieft and 
informers against the jntimate friends and co-td^ 
gionists of their disinterested and mrmifeent hemt^ 
&ctor. But diarity is often the last, as wefl a» 
the hardest lesscMi, which some Ouiitian pnife«w«s 
haye to learn ; and so it prored in the eauie of thane 
exiled French Protestants. 

M. Lamoth, in the historical part ai his "^ Two 
Discoorses," gires an aceoont of a Fieneh Sjmjd^ 
held in London, March :10th, 1691, by ninety^x 
of the exiled Dirines ; the result of which h^ statei 
in seven distinct prc^Mxitions, Tbeie senm pg^ 
positions, howerer, are uhknuddj n^olrMe u^ 
the two following: — first, that the Freodb Mhmbtn 
are not Socinians; and secondly, that tbey ar^^ t0^ 
Presbyterians. The Ibnner of thei^ pa^^^ti^pi^ 
the author of the ^ Seflections^ fmn^MU^:!^ ''^»^A\\ 
ridiculous," since no one ef er thoo^it ^A ^^^mH$$Ms 
the French Ministen among Soctriian^. ^ili^ ^^^^i^ 
he r^^ards as no less sarpimn(i tlian n^t ; t^^%#j^ 
as he hints, there was no ciccai»//ri t/> yr^f^^tiitg f! 
the Presbyteriam here and ihrtfuA^ i\^, ^if^'^ U^^ 


arrival in England, they had apostatized from the 
religion of their forefathers. But unadvised as such 
a declaration may have appeared to the author of 
this tract, we incidentally learn from it, that the 
rigid form of Church government adopted by the 
older Presbyterians was virtually abandoned in this 
country, at or soon after the time of the Revolution ; 
and that ten years' residence in England, during 
which the French Protestants must have associated 
more or less with their English Presbyterian bre- 
thren, had taught them also to look upon forms of 
Church government as matters of comparatively 
little moment. Had they contented themselves with 
disavowing Socinianism, and throwing off the yoke 
of Presbyterian discipline, no serious ground of 
accusation would have existed against them. But 
a far more weighty charge remains behind, though 
it affects only a portion of them. 

M. Lamoth's testimony to the character of the 
French Protestant refugees was only negative. He 
stated what they were not: but the author of the 
" Reflections " tells his readers, in plain terms, what 
too many of them were. He calls them " peepers, 
lurchers and trapans ;" and charges them with skulk- 
ing about the presses, and booksellers' shops, and 
even abusing the confidence of private hospitality, 
for the purpose of getting up informations against 
unlicensed books, and heterodox opinions and per- 
sons. He tells the public, that they act the part of 
*' informers, not only in the houses of Bishops, (who 
disdain at it,) but in the courts of judicature, to the 
indelible and perpetual scandal of their ministerial 
function, as well as the trouble and danger of the 


persons against whom they ill^;ally inform."^ He 
mentions one instance in particular, of a French 
Minister, who had been very bosy in hunting out 
an heretical book, and prosecuting its author, first 
in an Ecclesiastical, and then in a Civil Court 
With this person it was not enough that a book 
contained nothing decidedly heretical. If, by any 
ingenuity, it was possible to pervert the sense of an 
author, who expressed himself in a free, or un- 
guarded maimer, he was ever ready to take advan- 
tage of such oversight. No one could with greater 
fiidlity make out a plausible case of constructive 
heresy ; and yet, so regardless was he of truth, that 
he would solemnly deny being the instigator of legal 
proceedings, at the very time that he was laying 
his information, and assisting the officers of justice 
to apprehend his unsuspecting victim.f 

To the " Reflections" is subjoined a " Postscript," 
which shews the early practical working of the 
Toleration Act, as regards Unitarians. The author 
alludes to his "having seen the Articles of some 
French Ministers exhibited at the Ecclesiastical 
Court of my Lord the Bishop of L. against Dr. 
A. L. ;" and his animadversions are so spirited, and 
so much to the point, that the reader will not fail 
to be interested by the following extracts. 

"In the first place they have dared to article 
against a person, in an Ecclesiastical Court, contrary 
to the express words of a Statute or Act of Parlia^ 
ment; for the late Act of Parliament concerning 
toleration and indulgence in matters of conscience 
and religion, granted to Socinians as well as other 

• p. 21. t Ibid. 


Protestants the benefit of that Act, except only m 
case that they shall print or preach in defence and 
vindication of their opinions. The Socinians are 
as much tolerated and favoured by that Act as any 
other sect of Dissenters from the Church of England, 
if they content themselves to hold their opinions, 
or to reason and discourse of them in familiar talk : 
the Act debarreth us from only the liberty oi preach' 
ing ox writing in favour of them. But now the 
person against whom the French Ministers article, 
hath committed no such offence; they do not so 
much as pretend that he has written or preached 
against the received doctrine of the Church : these 
Ministers therefore are guilty of an insult upon the 
English laws, and the statutes of our Kings and 
Parliaments ; and are liable to a prosecution there- 
upon in the Civil Courts, by the persons, whom they 
have particularly wronged, or by any other pubUc- 
spirited persons, to whom the liberties of the nation 
are dear. They may happen to find some not ob- 
scure persons, who in due place and time will make 
the Ministers sensible, that 'tis not for refugees to 
trample upon the laws of the country where they 
are received and protected ; and least of all upon 
those laws which were made and designed for the 
ease and peace of the nation, and on which the 
welfare and safety of the nation do much depend. 
— But if Socinianism and the English Socinians are 
indeed such eye-sores to these Ministers, as seems 
by their frequent prosecutions of divers persons on 
that account before the ecclesiastical judges, and in 
other Courts, they should at least have shewn so 
much justice, as not to misplace their accusations, 


SO grossly too, as they have d<me. This Dr. A. L, 
is the fourth or fiAh person to whom they have 
given a public trouble, on the account of Socinian- 
ism : they have been always baflkd, and sometimes 
severely checked by the Judges and Court ; all this 
has not discouraged them ; they have no reputation 
to lose, from renewing their persecutions of innocent 
persons. But I advise them much, to lay the saddle 
upon the right horse ; and let them not so wholly 
despise the imputations of calumny and malice, 
vices so unsuitable to their profession of Ministers. 
Let them cease to accuse those that are not guilty, 
when they may easily find so many who are not 
only guilty of Unitarianism, if it be a guilt, but are 
also liable upon that account ; my meaning is, have 
preached up and written for Unitarianism."* 

Here the writer proceeds, in a playful strain, to 
charge the Apostles and Evangelists with maintain- 
ing and propagating all the leading doctrines of 
Unitarianism ; and substantiates the charge, in each 
particular case, by a direct appeal to their own pub- 
lished writings, as exhibited in the New Testament. 
The irony is admirably sustained ; and a more tri- 
umphant exposure of the shallow pretences on which 
the orthodox French Protestants maintained their 
petty warfere against the Unitarians, cannot well 
be imagined. 

The title of the fifth tract is, " The Trinitarian 
Scheme of Religion concerning Almighty God ; and 
Mankind considered both before and after the (pre- 
tended) Fall : with Notes thereupon ; which Notes 
contain also the Unitarian Scheme. Ix)ndon, 1692." 

* Reflections on Two Discourses, &c. P. S. pp. 22, 23. 


At the conclusion of this tract, the author disavows 
the intention or wish to challenge, or affront other 
sects or denominations of Christians, and least of all 
that of the Church of England ; from which, as he 
asserts, the Unitarians have not needlessly separated, 
like other Dissenters. "We place not religion," 
says he, " in worshipping God hy ourselves, or after 
a particular form or manner, hut in a right fidth, 
and a just and charitahle conversation. We approve 
of known forms of praising and praying to Grod ; as 
also in administering Baptism, the Lord's Supper, 
Marriage, and the other religious offices: we like 
well of the discipline of the Church hy Bishops and 
Parochial Ministers: we have an esteem for the 
eminent learning and exemplary piety of the Con- 
forming Clergy. For these reasons we communi- 
cate with that Church as far as we can, and contri- 
hute our Interest to favour her against all others 
who would take the chair."* It would hence appear, 
that the body of Unitarians in that day, while they 
dissented from the leading doctrines of the Church 
of England, did not object to its discipline and mode 
of worship; and therefore continued in its commu- 
nion. In other words, they laboured under the 
delusion, (for such it proved,) that, by remaining 
within its pale, they should gradually bring about 
a reform in its Liturgy and Articles. A few years 
later they appear to have had separate places of 
worship of their own in the Metropolis; and the 
Ministers appointed to preside over their congre- 
gations were heretical oflfshoots from the class of 
Presbyterian Dissenters. For a knowledge of this 

* Tlie Trinitarian Scheme of Religion, &c. p. 28. 


3ircumstance we are indebted to Charles Leslie, 
wrho, in the Preface to his work, entitled, "The 
^cinian Controversy discuss'd, London, 1708,"* 
illudes to it as a well-known fact, and even assigns 
It as a reason for writing his Dialogues on the Soci- 
aian Controversy. " I wish there had been no 
[>ccasion," says he, " of reviving this controversy, 
which of a long time has lain asleep among us. 
But of late years these Socinians, under the name 
of Unitarians, have appear'd with great boldness, 
and have not only fill'd the nation with their nu- 
merous pamphlets, printed upon a public stock, and 
given away gratis among the people, whereby many 
have been deluded : but they have arriv'd to that 
pitch of assurance, as to set up public meetings in 
our Halls in London, where some preach to them 
who have been spew'd out even by the Presbyte- 
rians for their Socinianism. — It is told in ' The Life 
of Mr. Thomas Firmin' that he design 'd to have a 
publick meeting-place set up in London for the 
Unitarians: and now we see it accomplish'd, and 
their standart set up ! These things have made it 
necessary to appear in defence of the Christian 
Faith, that it be not lost among us ; and to give 
some check to these Socinian pamphlets which 
swarm, through this city especially." 

The sixth tract is without a title-page, but is 
headed as follows : " Of worshipping the Holy Ghost 
expressly, as a Person equal to, and distinct from 
the Father." The object of the writer of this tract 
is to shew, that such worship is unscriptural ; that 
the only proper object of divine worship is the God 

• P.i. 


and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ; that an infe- 
rior kind of worship may however be paid to Jesus 
Christ, as the Son, and delegated messenger of the 
Father, who has invested him with power, authority 
and dominion ; but that all the worship which is 
paid to Christ should be paid to him as a man, sus- 
taining the office of Mediator between God and 
men. From this description, the reader will per- 
ceive, that the doctrine of this tract is properly 
Socinian ; for the Racovian Catechism teaches, that 
divine honour is due to Christ, and that this divine 
honour consists in adoration and invocation; that 
it does not, however, terminate in him, but centres 
in God alone, as its ultimate object.* 

The seventh tract is entitled, "The Unreason- 
ableness of the Doctrine of the Trinity briefly de- 
monstrated, in a Letter to a Friend. London, 1692." 
This is a well written, and closely reasoned tract, in 
which the author, addressing himself to a Mend, 
who had begun to entertain doubts on the subject 
of the Trinity, endeavours to shew him that those 
doubts are not without foundation; and that the 
defences of the Trinity, which had recently been 
published by the Doctors Wallis and Sherlock, in- 
stead of placing that doctrine upon a firm basis, 
only tended to prove the utter hopelessness of any 
attempt to defend it on rational and intelligible 

The eighth tract is a short one of only four pages, 
and is headed in the following manner : " The Be- 

* The Eacovian Catechism, vith Notes and Ulustrations, translated 
from the Latin: by Thomas Bees, KS.A, London, 1818, Sect v. 
Chap. i. p. 189. 


lief of the Athanasian Creed not required by the 
Church of England as necessary to Salvation : in a 
Letter to a Friend." This announcement, in the 
face of the damnatory clauses, looks something like 
a paradox. But the author assigns several reasons 
in defence of his position, which, if they do not con- 
vince the reader, that " the belief of the Athanasian 
Creed" is " not required by the Church of England 
as necessary to Salvation," may at least satisfy him, 
that propositions are set forth, and requirements 
made, in the Liturgy and Articles, which are utterly 
and irreconcilably at variance with each other. 

The ninth tract consists of a series of passages, 
exhibiting " Mr. ChillifigwortK s Judgment of the 
Religion of Protestants, &c. ; " but does not contain 
anything in relation to the Trinitarian controversy. 

One additional tract completes the volume ; and 
of this due notice will be taken in the proper place. 
In the mean time let us pause, and inquire, what 
course the controversy took within the pale of the 
Church of England. 

In the year 1691, a true friend of that Church, 
lamenting that such conflicting views had been 
taken by two such eminent men as Dr. Wallis and 
Dr. Sherlock, published, "An Earnest and Com- 
passionate Suit for Forbearance, to the learned Wri- 
ters of some Controversies at present : by a Melan- 
choly StandeT'hyy The leading object of the author 
was to prove, that the Trinitarian controversy, as 
carried on by the learned writers alluded to, was 
the most unreasonable, the most dangerous, and 
the most untimely of all existing religious disputes. 
The reputed author of this tract was Dr. Wetnal, 


or Wetenhall^ Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry.* 
It called forth from the ready pen of Dr. Sherlock, 
" An Apology for writmg against the Socinians in 
Defence of the Doctrines of the Holy Trinity and 
Incarnation." In this " Apology," the Dean of St. 
Paul's maintains his first opinion, though in a 
slightly modified form. He also affects to believe, 
that the Unitarians, who had published replies to 
his "Vindication," were the persons intended by 
" the learned writers," so designated by the " Me- 
lancholy Stander-by," in the title-page to his tract. 
This, together with other misrepresentations and 
blunders, led to the publication of the " Antapology 
of the Melancholy Stander-by in Answer to the 
Dean Paul's late Book, falsely styled, * An Apology 
for writing against the Socinians,' &c. 1693. "-f- The 

* For the above valuable piece of information the reader of thii 
" Historical Introduction ** is indebted to James Yates, Esq,, who, in a 
letter with which he favoured the author, in the autumn of 1S45, thus 
describes a collection of tracts which he once possessed. " This collec- 
tion had been made by Dr. Wallis ; it contained all his tracts in the 
controversy, with the Socinian replies ; also some MS. letters to him 
from a non-juring clergyman resident at Totnes, and copies of Wallis's 
replies to these letters. But the most curious and valuable tract, in 
my estimation, was that of the ' Melancholy Stander-by,' entitled ' An 
Earnest and Compassionate Suit for Forbearance,' &c. ; to the title of 
which Wallis had written an addition, shewing the author of it to be 
Dr. Wetnal, or Wetenhall, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. Whe- 
ther this was Dr. Edward Wetenhall, previously Bishop of Kilmore, I 
do not know." It appears from Mr. Emlyn's " True Narrative of the 
Proceedings " against himself, that Dr. Wetenhall was Bishop of Kfl- 
more at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and that he privately 
visited Mr. Emlyn more than once during his imprisonment in Dublin. 
(The Works of Mr. Thomas Emlyn. Lond. 1746, Svo. Vol. I. p. 29.) 

t " The learned writers '* to whom the " Melancholy Stander-by " 
alluded, were the Doctors Sherlock and Wallis, as he states in his 
''Antapology," p. 2; and not (as Mr, Nelson supposes in his "Life of 


author of the " Suit for Forbearance " expresses a 
wish, that the consideration of the doctrine of the 
Trinity may be suspended for a while, till it can be 
resumed at a suitable time and place. The Dean 
thinks that the time, which he himself has chosen, 
is " a fit time," but is at a loss to discover what is 
meant by " a fit place." Upon this, the author of 
the " Antapology " tells him, that " the great Saint 
Augustine would not undertake writing against the 
Pelagians, till chosen and deputed thereto by two 
Councils, in both which he sat:" and taking this 
case as a precedent, he suggests, that the fittest 
place for " confuting heretical doctrines, especially 
in such tender points as that of the Holy Trinity," 
is a ftdl House of Convocation ; and that the fittest 
persons are a Committee chosen by that assembly, 
the result of whose labours might afterwards be 
submitted, for approval and revision, to the whole 
of that reverend body. 

Whatever may be thought of the wisdom, or ex- 
pediency of the above proposal, the author of the 
" Antapology " deserves credit for his candour and 
&imess towards the Unitarians, and for his defence 
of them from the charges so " iniquitously " brought 
against them by the Dean of St. Paul's. But as 
the Antapologist justly observes respecting the so- 
called Socinians^ '^some men write against them 
without understanding them." Dr. Sherlock quickly 
retorted, in " A Defence of the Dean of St. Paul's 
* Apology,' &c. in Answer to the Antapologist;" 

Bp. Bull," Sect. Ixvi. p. 375, 2nd Ed.) Dr. Sherlock and Dr. South. 
When the " Earnest and compassionate Suit for Forbearance " issued 
from the press, Dr. South had not become a party in the controversy. 

VOL. I. Y 


and thus terminated this branch of the controversy. 
But, in the mean time, a new combatant had en- 
tered the field. 

Soon after the appearance of Dr. Sherlack*s " Apo- 
l(^y," an anonymous work came out, consisting of 
" Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's Book, enti- 
tled, * A Vindication of the Holy and Ever-blessed 
Trinity,' &c.; together with a more necessary Vin- 
dication of the Sacred and Prime Article of the 
Christian Faith from his new Notions and £Edse 
Explications of it ; humbly offered to his Admirers, 
and to himself the chief of them : by a Divine of 
the Church of England. London, 1693." This 
work was recognized at once as the productioa of 
Dr. South. It was no less distinguished by its 
learning than its wit ; and the merciless severity, 
with which its author treated the author of the 
" Vindication " and the " Apology," has few paral- 
lels in modern controversial literature. The Dean's 
hypothesis was to be dissected, and the operator 
did not spare the knife. 

Dr. Sherlock's main propositions were, itiat the 
three divine persons in the Trinity are three dis- 
tinct, infinite minds, or spirits ; that their personal 
distinction consists only in self-consciousness, and 
their unity only in mutual consciousness ; and that 
the terms essence^ nature^ substance^ hypostasis and 
subsistence^onlj serve to perplex men's apprdiensions 
of them, and for that reason ought to be laid aside. 
Of all these propositions Dr. South does not scruple 
to say, that they are founded in error ; and that, if 
they had been broached in the times of the primi- 
tive Church, they would have been publicly and 


solemnly condemned, and their author severely dealt 
with for maintaining them.* As r^ards the last, 
he charges Dr. Sherlock with contradicting, in his 
" Apology," what he had asserted in his " Vindi- 
cation ;" — " and as for that ' Melancholy Stander- 
by,'" says he, " upon whose account this * Apolc^* 
is pretended to have been written, if he will but 
read and compare the ' Apology' and ' Vindication* 
together, I dare undertake, that he will not be half 
so melancholy as he was before, "f 

Dr. South puts in no claim for novelty in his 
views respecting the Trinity. He merely contends, 
^' with the humblest submission to the judgment of 
the Church of England," for what he conceives to 
be the old, and generally approved explanation of 
that doctrine, — namely, " that there is but One 
Grod, and yet that the Church, finding in Scripture 
mention of three, to whom distinctly the Godhead 
does belong, it has, by warrant of the same Scrip- 
ture, Heb. i. 3, expressed these three by the name 
of Persons^ and stated their personalities upon three 
distinct modes of subsistence, allotted to One and 
the same Grodhead, and these also distinguished 
from one another by three distinct relations.":}: 

Just before Dr. South published his ^^ Animad- 
versions," Archbishop Tillotson revised, and printed 
his " Four Sermons concerning the Divinity ^nd 
Incarnation of our blessed Saviour." These Ser- 
mons had been delivered in the Church of St. Law- 
rence-Jewry, in the years 1679 and 1680; and 
were published, in an enlarged form, in 1693, on 

* Preface to Animadversions, pp. iv. ▼. 

t Chap. ii. pp. 62—66, 2nd Ed. X Chap. viii. p. 240. 



account of ^^ the importunate clamours, and mali- 
cious calumnies of the author's enemies," who had 
charged him with a leaning towards Socinianism. 
This was the motive avowed by him in his " Adver- 
tisement" prefixed to the Sermons. But his bio- 
grapher, Dr. Birch* informs us, that he did it 
" likewise for the satisfaction of his friend, Mr. 
Thomas Firmin." The Queen, it appears, had heard 
much of Mr. Firmin, as a charitable and public- 
spirited individual ; but regretted to find, that he 
was heterodox in the articles of his religious belief 
She spoke upon the subject to the Archbishop, and 
urged His Grace to set Mr. Firmin right. The 
Archbishop gave Her Majesty to imderstand, that 
he had frequently made the attempt, but had never 
been able to succeed; or, as he represented the 
matter, Mr. Firmin*s early prejudices were so deeply 
rooted, that he had never been able to eradicate 
them. His Grace, however, turning over in his 
mind what the Queen had said, resolved to make 
another, attempt, and with that view determined to 
publish the " Four Sermons" above mentioned, and 
sent Mr. Firmin one of the earliest copies. But as 
far as that gentleman was concerned, they produced 
no effect ; his con\dctions of the Supremacy of the 
Father, and the Subordination of the Son, remain- 
ing,as firm and unshaken as before.f 

In the second of these " Four Sermons," His 
Grace made some concessions with regard to the 
Socinians, which, as Dr. Jortin remarks, " never 

• Life of Archbishop Tillotson, p. 292. 

t The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, pp. 15, 16. 


were, and never will be forgiven him."* Dr. South, 
in the eleventh Chapter of his " Animadversions," 
speaks of Archbishop Tillotson as Dr. Sherlock's 
" great Lord and Patron ;" and placing the boastful 
terms, in which Dr. Sherlock refers to his own fan- 
cied victory over the Socinians, in contrast with the 
encomium which the Archbishop had passed upon 
them, he asks, "Why (for God's sake) must the 
Socinians' reasoning abilities (which his great Lord 
and Patron has given so high, so signal, and so 
peculiar an encomium of) all of a suddain fail them, 
upon this author's publication of his book?" And 
a little further on he adds, "So far are the Soci- 
nians from being put out of countenance, and much 
less out of heart, by what this man has wrote against 
them, that I assure him, they look upon him as an 
opponent according to their heart's desire ; as hav- 
ing play'd a fairer game into their hands than ever 
was dealt into them before : so that next to their 
wishing all the world their friends^ they wish they 
may always have such adversaries. And therefore 
if they should resolve to reason against him no 
more, he will have great cause to thank either their 
inadvertency for overlooking the great advantage 
given them, or their good nature for not taking it. 
For the book called by him * A Vindication of the 
Trinity,' is certainly like a pot or vessel with han- 
dles quite round it ; turn it which way you will, 
you are sure to find something to take hold of it 


The author of the " Animadversions" enters but 

• Birch's Life of Abp. Tillotoon, App. No. iii. p. 427. 

t Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's Book, &c. pp. 361, 362, 


little into the controversy between Dr. Sherlock and 
the Socinians ; and in the concluding paragraph of 
his Prefece,* says, " As for that part of his book, 
which peculiarly concerns the Socinians, I leave 
him and them to fight it out. My business is to 
shew, that the doctrine of our Church is absolutely 
a stranger to his novel and beloved notions: It 
knows them not ; it owns them not ; nor ought we 
to look upon him, so far as he asserts and maintains 
them, to be any true and genuine son of it: and 
consequently, whether he worries the Socinians, or 
(which is much the more likely) the Socinians wcMry 
him, the Church of England is not at all con« 

It is said, that Dr. South wished to learn what 
Archbishop Tillotson thought of his work ; and that 
he requested a mutual friend to ascertain EQs Grace's 
opinion respecting it in the course of conversation. 
His friend accordingly put the question to the Arch- 
bishop, who replied, that the Doctor " wrote " like 
a man, but "bit" like a dog. When this was re- 
ported to South, he answered, in his usual caustic 
manner, that he had rather bite like a dog, than 
fawn like one. The Archbishop, on being made 
acquainted with this answer, remarked, that for his 
part, he should choose rather to be a spaniel^ than 
a cur. if 

The Christian world was now in possession of 
three separate explications of the doctrine of the 
Trinity, by Dr. Wallis, Dr. Sherlock and Dr. South, 
all differing as widely from each other, as the suc- 
cessive figures exhibited by a camera obscura ; and 

• P. xix. t Birch*8 Life of Tilloteon, p. 323. 


each, as it made its appearance, casting its prede- 
cessor into the shade, and leaving the spectators of 
the scene to wonder what was to come next ! 

At this stage of the controversy appeared the 
tenth of the "Second Collection" of Unitarian Tracts, 
entitled, " Considerations on the Explications of the 
Doctrine of the Trinity, by Dr. Wallis, Dr. Sherlock, 
Dr. S— th. Dr. Cndworth, and Mr. Hooker ; as also 
on the Account given by those that say, the Trinity 
is an Unconceivable and Inexplicable Mystery: 
written to a Person of Quality. 1693." This tract, 
which was the production of the same author, who 
wrote " A Brief History of the Unitarians," exhibits 
great controversial ability, and a perfect acquaint- 
ance with the subject in debate, under all the Pro- 
teus-like aspects which it assumed. The author 
gave Dr. South all the credit which he deserved, or 
could have expected, for the full and able manner, 
in which he had exposed the polytheistic notions 
of Dr. Sherlock ; but, at the same time, he did not 
shrink fix)m the somewhat rash adventure of entering 
the lists himself with Dr. South, and measuring a 
lance with that renowned combatant. One of his 
Sections treats expressly "Of the Explication by 
Dr. S— th ; " and exhibits all the tact and skill of 
a master in controversy. After mentioning, that it 
is not till the eighth Chapter, that the Doctor " be- 
gins to bless us with the Catholic and Orthodox 
Account of his Trinity in Unity, at length," says he, 
" at page 240 out comes the secret." Then, allowing 
the Doctor to state his own views, which he does 
by making a long quotation, he exclaims, " Behold 
the birth of the mountains ! We are kept in sus- 


pense seven long Chapters ; at length in the 8th, 
at p. 240 of his hook, he gives forth his oracle : That 
the three divine persons, so much talk'd of, are 
neither substances^ nor accidents; and consequently, 
saith he, no real beings. Nay, they have no real 
eooistence of their own ; but are modes^ habitudes^ or 
affections of the divine substance^ or the substance of 
God : they are in the Godhead, or in the substance 
of God, such as mutability, presence, absence, ia- 
herence, adherence, and such like, are in the natures, 
or substances to which they belong. Or if you will 
have a great deal in one single word, the very Iliads 
in a nutshell; they are postures; or what amounts 
to the same thing, they are such in spiritual and 
immaterial beings, that a posture is to a 6ody."* 
Well may the author of the " Considerations" ex- 
press his astonishment, on arriving at this portion 
of Dr. South's book, and ask, " Was it worth while 
to fall upon Dr. Sherlock in this outrageous manner, 
only because he would not call the three divine per- 
sons three postures of the Godhead^ or the substance 
of God in three postures ? " f 

The different theories of the Trinity, which this 
able tract exposes, are thus characterized by the 
author, towards the close of his " Considerations," $ 
which are addressed, in the form of a letter, to a 
friend : — " I have done, Sir, with the Earplications 
of our opposers. You see what they are: Dr. 
S-^ — th's Explication is only an absurd Socinianism ; 
or Unitarianism disguised in a metaphysical and 
logical cant. Dr. Wallis's Explication is an inge- 

• Considerations on the Explications of the Trinity, &c. p. 21. 
t Ibid. \ Pp. 31, 32. 


niaus Sabellianism ; and in very deed differs from 
Unitarianism no more than Dr. S — th's, that is to 
say, only in the wording. Dr. Sherlock's is such 
a flat Trithetsm^ that all the learned of his own 
party confess it to be so. Dr. Cudworth's is a 
moderate Arianism : the Ariani molles ascribed as 
much to the Son, as this Doctor doth; and he 
denies as much to the Son as they did ; even an 
equality of power, and authority with the Father. 
Mr. Hooker's is a Trinity^ not of persons^ hut ofcon- 
tradictions ; and he hath advanced such a Son as of 
necessity destroys his Father. What the mystical 
Divines teach, cannot be called an Explication; 
they deny all Explications : we must say therefore 
'tis 8amaritanism ; for what our Saviour says of the 
Samaritans, by way of reproof and blame, that these 
gentlemen profess concerning themselves, that th^ 
worship they know not what — These, Sir, are the 
doctrines that we oppose ; I shall leave it with you, 
whether it be without cause." 

The Dissenters had thus fer taken no part in the 
controversy. But the " Considerations on the Ex- 
plications of the Trinity by Dr. Wallis, Dr. Sherlock, 
Dr. S — ^th," &c., induced the Rev. John Howe, one 
of the leading Presbyterian Divines of the day, to 
publish a tract, entitled, " A Calm and Sober En- 
quiry concerning the Possibility of a Trinity in the 
Godhead, in a Letter to a Person of Worth ; occa- 
sioned by the lately published * Considerations,' " &c. 
This appeared, without the author's name, in 1694. 
The writer waives the question about three persons 
in the Deity ; but pronounces this use of the word 
person to be neither improper, nor unjustifiable. He 


merely inquires, whether the Father, the Son at 
Word, and the Holy Ghost, may not be so distm^ 
gnished from each other, as to answer the parts 
assigned to them by Scripture, in the Christian eco- 
nomy ; and yet each of them be God, consistently 
with the great and undoubted truth, that there k 
but one God. This question he decides in the 
affirmative, contending, with Dr. Sherlock, for Ae 
absolute distinction of the persons; but, at the same 
time, denying, that their unity is a mere mutual 
consciousness, as that writer had maintained, in his 
" Vindication of the Trinity and Incarnation." A 
scheme, which leaves out what Mr. Howe calls the 
very " nexus," or link, by which the three persona 
are united, or leaves it out of its proper place, and 
insists only upon a mutual consciousness, whidi is 
but a consequence of their union, wants, as he con- 
tends, the chief thing which is requisite to the 
unity of the Godhead.* But Mr. Howe himself^ 
though he saw that some such nexus was required, 
and blamed Dr. Sherlock for leaving it out of his 
hypothesis, has nowhere stated, in direct terms, 
what it is which constitutes this nexus. He merely 
contends for its possibility, and compares it to the 
union between a human soul and body ; affirming 
that, if God could unite in one man two such differ- 
ent natures, he could also create that, or any greater 
number of perfect spirits, in as near a union as that 
which subsists between the body and soul of the 
same man ; and that such a union, with such a dis- 

• Calamy*8 Life of Mr. John Howe, prefixed to his Works, pp. 65 

ctaon, is as OQooofable, 


Mx. Howe's iMition of tibe Ti 

the ^'Gafan and 

itings, may be di 

(rds. — ^nie tiuee 

ct essences. Therare 

ings and 

aety; andasno 


»t of Uessedness Aan 

eternal soKtude.^ Suck 

ligiUe; bnttbe bjpodieHL 

explain, is as amch Trithdaa. m Aae ^f ISr. 

lerlock; fiyr three dmae 

ch a ddidoiis sodetr with 

nsodatioii coostitiitB tibe 

essedness, cannot, br the aid of 

ther Uie reason, or the 

pply, be made to conrtitnte oaly oae CiiidL 

Not long after the aypejLi^ ^f Mr. IftowiffV 

3blm and Sober Enqmrrr Dr.Sheri«k |w*faiiffl 

reply to Dr. Sooth, eadtkd. "* A I>skm$t ^ hr. 

ledock's Notkms of m Tiinity im Vwiir^ » j|j^ 

rer to Uie ^ Animadi - cwioms ' i^oi fcif ' VaMlKa^ 

m of the Doctrine of tibe Hoir aoMd Es^gg. om u s wi ^ 

rinity ;' with a Poalsciqit nIstiBe V# tl^ '^.^das 

isconrsecf aTrimtrin dbeG<iidhH»fld. 14^4.*" I* 

lis ^ Defence," the Doctor attfer no dima ^mM/^ 

cms, but wrapt np his ofmum in dtn^ v^mftsi^^ 

iceived terms. His repntatiaa for orthM^/%ir wm 


in peril, and he wished to preserve it without any 
appearance of compromise. 

Dr. South's reply did not appear till the year fol- 
lowing: but before the end of 1694,* Mr. Howe 
published " A Letter to a Friend concerning a P.S. 
to the ' Defence of Dr. Sherlock's Notions of a Tri- 
nity in Unity;* relating to the *Calm and Sober 
Enquiry' upon that Subject." In this Letter he 
says, " the Dean hath asserted so positively three 
infinite Minds or Spirits, that the benign interpre- 
tation wherewith this Defender would salve the 
matter, (a new vocabulary being to be made for him 
on purpose, and the reason of things quite alter'd,) 
wiU to any man of sense seem rather ludicrous 
than sufficient, without express retractation. "•}• Mr. 
Howe makes it his object to shew, that the Dean 
had heightened the distinction in the three persons 
of the Godhead, quite as much as he himself had 
done ; while he had said less respecting their unity, 
and had insisted upon nothing antecedent to their 
" mutual consciousness," as constituting that unity. 

Soon after the publication of Mr. Howe's " Letter 
to a Friend," in defence of his " Calm and Sober 
Enquiry," there appeared, in the form of a tract, 
extending through twenty small quarto pages, "Ani- 
madversions on a 'Postscript' to the 'Defence' of 
Dr. Sherlock, against the ' Calm Discourse of a Sober 
Enquirer:' as also on the Letter to a Friend con- 
cerning that ' Postscript.' " This occupies the second 
place in the " Third Collection of Tracts," pub- 

♦ Calamt/s Life of Howe, prefixed to his Works, Vol. L p. 65. 

t The Works of the late Kev. and Learned John Howe, M,A, Lon- 
don, 1724, Vol. U. p. 584. 


lished by the Unitarians. It is divided into two 
Parts, the former of which relates chiefly to Dr. 
Sherlock, the latter to Mr. Howe. But before 
entering upon an examination of the arguments on 
both sides, the author gives the following graphic 
description of the combatants.* " The Doctor, or 
Dean, or Defender, (no matter which I name, for 
they Three are One,) wants nothing to make him a 
good vmter, but a good cause, and says as much for 
a bad, as any man can ; nay, and when the nature 
of the cause will bear no more, he makes it good 
with magisterial grace, and big assurance. He has 
always logick enough by him, to prove a Trinity of 
Acuities, relations, modes, to be only a Trinity of 
names ; and a Trinity of essences or natures, to be 
a Trinity of Gods. All that can be said of him is, 
that he takes no care of himself, but sacrifices his 
own hypothesis, to make sure work with that of his 
adversary. — His adversary, the Enquirer^ steps forth 
from the press, at his first appearance in the cause, 
with all the winning civility, and good nature in 
the world. He will not be so rude as to say, that 
his hypothesis is the certain truth of the matter ; 
only he hopes that his gentle reader will be so cour- 
teous, as to grant it possible. — The Dean would do 
the Enquirer a singular favour, to let him be now 
and then of his opinion ; but that not being granted, 
puts him a little out of temper ; yet he quickly re- 
covers himself, and when he has cut the Dean with 
a bitter sarcasm, p. 42, he gives him a healing 
parenthesis. — In short, this is the case between the 
Dean and the Enquirer: the one deals rude and 

• Animadversions, &c. p. 1. 


heavy blows; the other neatly offers dangerous 
thrusts. You may fancy them engaging like JSilbba 
and Mezentius in Virgil, who maintain the fight, 

Hie gladio fidens, hie acer et arduus hastlL* 

The author of the ^' Animadversions," after draw- 
ing a parallel between Dr. Sherlock and Bayes in 
*' The Rehearsal," sets forth the rules of the Dean's 
'^wonderful book," accompanied by appropriate illufih 
trations. We have, for example, 1. Regula ^fiducia^ 
or the rule of assurance ; 2. Regula cansoriii, or the 
rule of company, which may also be called re^h 
recriminatianis^ because it may have two intentions, 
both which the Dean follows, with this one reso- 
lution, not to be damned alone ; 3. Regula persatuB^ 
or the rule of disguise ; 4. Regula meiosis^ or the 
rule of extenuation ; 5. Regula suppositorumy or the 
rule of putting cases, which never did, and never 
can happen ; 6. Regula tenebrarum^ or the rule of 
darkening the matter ; and 7. Regula ohlwiscentuB^ 
or the rule of forgetting what it is inconvenient to 

Having exposed the sophistical practices of Dr. 
Sherlock, the author of the " Animadversions" then 
proceeds to examine his "Postscript" to the "De^ 
fence" of himself, which is particularly levelled 
against Mr. Howe. Of the manner in which this 
examination is conducted, the following extract will 
afford a fair specimen.^ "The Dean justly and 
truly observes, that Mr. H — ^w's three spirits, and 
essences, and individual natures, which make up 
the Unity of the Godhead, as he has represented it, 

• Pp. 3—5. t Pp- 5, 6. 


do not seem to be infinite : for, that which three 
become by being united, not any one of them can 
be snppos'd to be, oonsider'd by himself If each 
cannot be consider'd by himself, then the three can- 
not be distingnish'd: if each can be considered by 
himself, each must be consider'd as not wholly the 
same with all the three in nnion. But the Dean 
forgetfully, and untruly says, that he allows but one 
divine essence, and one individual nature ; for, [not 
to take notice of that pitiful nonsense. One divine 
nature repeated in three persons without multipli- 
cation,] p. 91 of his ^ Self-Defence,' he has these 
express words. ^ The Dean knows no divine sub- 
stance, or essence, distinct from the three divine 
persons, but that the essence makes the person/ 
What he means by ^ the essence makes the person,' 
I do not well know ; but 'tis most manifest, that if 
a divine essence, and a divine person, be the same 
without distinction, then there are as many essences 
as persons, and persons as essences, nor more nor 
less. In my mind, three divine essences, are too 
many by two ; he had better lose two persons, than 
be overstor'd with divine essences ; for one divine 
essence, and one divine person, is enough for any 
truly honest and religious man." 

Hie latter part of the " Animadversions" relates 
to Mr. Howe's "Letter" in reply to the Dean's 
" Postscript." Prefixed to it is the following motto. 

Nee quenquam jam ferre potest Caesanre priorem, 
Pompeiosre parem. 

The author then proceeds to offer his commentary 
upon this text, portions of which may be extracted, 
for the amusement, and instruction of the reader. 



"Could Caesar and Pompey have agreed to shaie 
empire between them, they might have manag'd 
Rome, and the world as they pleas'd ; but Pompey 
proud of his early fame, and long prosperity, would 
needs be uppermost, while Csesar's success against 
the Gauls prompted him to endure no superior : so 
they divided their interests ; the event was, Caesar 
was too hard for Pompey by his valour, Brutus and 
Cassius by their treachery too hard for Caesar. — 
Would Mr. H — ^w, and Dean Sherlock agree to 
share the honour of explaining the mysterious doc- 
trine of the Trinity between them, it would be a 
great stroke towards perswading Churchmen and 
Dissenters to orthodox tritheism; but as ill-luck 
will have it, to the prejudice of every Diotrephes, 
whether of Church or Tabernacle, the Dean is per- 
tinacious for his hypothesis ; * There must be three 
distinct minds in one numerical Godhead, or no 
Trinity :' and Mr. H — w, that could be contented 
to have his scheme admitted as possible, cannot 
endure to have it set by, as heresy."* " One and 
the same is the hypothesis of these two angry wri- 
ters, only variegated with different terms of art. 
They catch, and cavil at one another, for some little 
by-sayings or omissions, but return not one wise 
word to the plain arguments wherewith they con- 
demn one another for Tritheists. — They are mutu- 
ally self-conscious of their Pagan error, and that 
suppresses the pride of their hearts : so when they 
fain would raise their voices to a triumphal Jo, all 
they can reach is, *I will vindicate three minds 
from being three Gods, as well as you three natures; 

• Pp. 8, 9. 


and I wiU assert three natures to be but One God, 
as well as you three minds.'"* " Now if ever men, 
that pretended to reason, discoursed more senselessly 
than both the one and the other of these disputants, 
they shall burn me for an heretic. They both con- 
fess, that there is no exact representation, no perfect 
example of any such union in nature," [as that for 
which they respectively contend ;] " and yet they 
will be representing it over and over again ; some- 
times by a tree and its branches, sometimes by the 
sun and its light, sometimes by a mind and its facul- 
ties, sometimes by body and soul : and that nothing 
may be wanting in them towards the representation 
of it, they represent it at length by that which is 
not; an essential union of a divine and human 
nature, and by a supposed union of three distinct 
created spirits." f 

Other combatants had now entered the field ; but 
as they took only a subordinate part in the contest, 
and as we shall have occasion to notice them again 
hereafter, we pass on at once to another leading 
publication in this controversy, entitled, " Consider- 
ations on the Explications of the Doctrine of the 
Trinity, occasioned by Four Sermons preached by 
His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. A 
Sermon preached by the Lord Bishop of Worcester. 
A Discourse by the Lord Bishop of Salisbury. A 
Sheet by a very learned Hand, containing Twenty- 
eight Propositions. A Treatise by an eminent Dis- 
senting Minister, being * A Calm Discourse concern- 
ing the Possibility of a Trinity :' and by a Book in 
Answer to the Animadversions on Dr. Sherlock's 

• Auimadversions, &c. p. 9. t ?• H* 

VOL. I. Z 



Vindication of the Trinity : in a Letter to H. H. 
1694." This publication occupies the first place in 
the "Third Collection" of Unitarian Tracts, and 
was the production of the same person, who wrote 
the " Considerations " already noticed, as forming 
one of the " Second Collection." It was drawn up 
at the request, and published at the expense of Mr. 
Firmin ; and, like other writings of the same ano- 
nymous author, assumed the epistolary form. The 
date aflS.xed to it is Sept. 29, 1694. A copy of it 
was presented to Archbishop Tillotson by Mr. Fir- 
min ; and the only remark, which His Grace made 
in reference to it, was, " My Lord of Sarum shall 
humble your writers."* This remark was made 
just after Bishop Burnet had finished his " Exposi- 
tion of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of 
England," which had been undertaken at the re- 
quest of the Queen, and with the Archbishop's con- 
currence. The manuscript had recently been placed 
in His Grace's hands, for the purpose of revision ; 
and he returned it to the author with the following 
letter, in which he expresses his candid opinion 
respecting its merits. 

" Lambeth House, October 23d, 1694. 

" My Lord, — I have with great pleasure and sa^ 
tisfaction read over the great volume you sent me, 
and am astonished to see so vast a work begun and 
finished in so short a time. In the article of the 
Trinity you have said all, that I think can be said 
upon so obscure and difficult an argument. The 
Socinians have just now published an answer to us 

• The Life of Mr. Thomas Firmin, pp. 16, 17. 


all ; but I have not had a sight of it. The negative 
articles against the Church of Rome you have very 
fuUy explained, and with great learning and judg- 
ment. Concerning these you will meet with no 
opposition amongst ourselves. The greatest danger 
was to be apprehended from the points in difference 
between the Calvinists and Remonstrants^ in which 
you have shewn not only great skill and moderation, 
but great prudence in contenting yourself to repre- 
sent both sides impartially, without any positive 
declaration of your own judgment. The account 
given of Athanasius's Creed seems to me no-wise 
satisfactory. I wish we were well rid of it. I pray 
God long to preserve your Lordship to do more 
such services to the Church. I am, my Lord, 

Yours most affectionately, 

Jo. Cant."* 

The reader will not fail to perceive, that Tillot- 
son's well known, and often quoted words, " I wish 
we were well rid of it," applied to the Athanasian 
Creed, form part of the above letter: — a wish, in 
which many of the best friends of the Church of 
England have concurred, but of the fulfilment of 
which the probability seems still to be as remote as 
ever. It is also worthy of notice, with what evident 
satisfaction His Grace commends the skill, modera^ 
tion and prudence, with which the learned expositor 
trims the balance between the Calvinistic and Ar- 
minian parties, so as to leave it doubtful to which 
side he himself inclines. The reader might almost 

• BircKB Life of Abp. Tillotson, pp. 314, 315. 



imagine himself reading some episcopal charge just 
wet from the press, the author of which had a long- 
ing eye towards York or Canterbury. But no living 
Bishop, or Archbishop of the Anglican Church, 
could say with truth to an assemblage of Divines 
under his own charge, when speaking of " the nega- 
tive articles against the Church of Rome," '^ Con- 
cerning these you will meet with no opposition 
among yourselves ;" for the authors and abettors of 
the tractarian schism have taken care to render such 
a declaration impossible in our day. 

The answer, which the Socinians had just pub- 
lished, was the " Considerations on the Explications 
of the Doctrine of the Trinity," in which were con- 
tained replies, both to the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and the Bishop of Salisbury. When the above 
letter was written. His Grace had not seen this 
answer; but it must have been presented to him 
shortly afterwards, for his death took place in the 
month of November, 1694. During the interval, 
he appears to have seen, and conversed several times 
with Mr. Firmin, whom he treated with the same 
kindness as ever, inquiring, in his usual friendly 
way, " How does my son, Giles V — the designation 
which he was in the habit of giving to Mr. Firmin's 
son by his second wife.* 

The author of the " Considerations" animadverts, 
in the first place, on a Sermon by the Bishop of 
Worcester, Dr. Edward Stillingfleet, in vindication 
of the mysteries of the Christian faith, from the 
words, " Christ Jesus came into the world to save 
sinners," 1 Tim. i. 15. This Sermon was preached 

• The Life of Mr. T. Firmin, p. 17. 


April 1st, 1691, and published shortly afterwards 
by Mr. Mortlock, at the Phoenix, in St. Paul's 
Church Yard. " As to the author of this Sermon, 
his person and qualifications," says the writer of the 
tract,* " I readily acknowledge, he hath all the pro- 
perties, for which an adversary may be either feared, 
or reverenced. He understands perfectly the doc- 
trine of the Church, and the points in question. He 
wiU commit no oversights thro' ignorance, haste, 
or inadversion ; he will know how to take, and to 
manage all advantages. He is too experienc'd and 
judicious to hazard his cause, as others have lately 
done, on the success of a half-thought hypothesis, a 
crvde invention, a pretty new querk. In a word, 
we can only say of him ; Since there is no remedy, 
*Contenti simus hoc Catone.'" The preacher had 
distributed his subject under several heads, the prin- 
cipal of which were, that God may justly require us 
to believe what we cannot comprehend ; that those 
who reject the mysteries of faith, themselves advance 
still greater mysteries; and that the manner and 
way of salvation by Christ, which the Church teaches, 
is preferable to what is taught by the Socinians. Of 
these propositions our author says, that " the first is 
true, but not to the purpose ; the second home to 
the purpose, but not true; and the third neither 
true, nor to the purpose, "f These three assertions 
he proceeds to substantiate in the next ten pages ; 
after which, he offers some remarks upon a Discourse 
of the Bishop of Salisbury's, " On the Divinity and 
Death of Christ." This was the second of four dis- 
courses, addressed by Bishop Burnet to the clergy 

• Considerations, &c. p. 3. f P* 4. 


of his diocese, and published under the following 
title. " Four Discourses delivered to the Clergy of 
the Diocess of Sarum, concerning, 1. the Truth of 
the Christian Religion ; 2. the Divinity and Death 
of Christ ; 3. the Infallibility and Authority of the 
Church ; 4. the Obligations to continue in the Com- 
munion of the Church : by the Right Rev. Father 
in God, Gilbert, Lord Bishop of Sarum. London, 
1694." After praising the elegance of the Bishop's 
style, and the general elevation of thought which 
pervades the Discourses, the author of the " Con- 
siderations" goes on to mention, in terms of com- 
mendation, some concessions which his Lordship 
has made respecting the right and duty of private 
judgment. He then calls the reader's attention to 
the Bishop's views concerning the Trinity. " The 
three," as His Lordship is fond of expressing him- 
self, are more than three names, or three outward 
economies ; but they are not three distinct beings. 
"He seems not unwilling to say three persons^'' 
observes the Considerator ; " but to avoid the dan- 
ger of so speaking, he is careful to tell us, p. 96, 
* By person (here) is not meant, what we commonly 
understand by that word, a compleat intelligent heing^ 
distinct from every other being, but only that every 
one of the blessed three has a peculiar distinction.'"* 
This, however, is pronounced unscriptural ; because 
the Scriptures, which often tell us of the Holy One, 
and the Blessed One, make no mention of the Holy, 
or the Blessed Three : and if this be all the Trinity, 
which Bishop Burnet recognizes, his shrewd oppo- 
nent scruples not to tell him, that it is a Trinity 

• Pp. 15—17. 


of ciphers; and that ciphers, however multipUed, 
amount to nothing.* 

The next Explication of the Trinity, to which 
the author of the " Considerations" adverts, is con- 
tained in "The Doctrine of the Trinity placed in 
its due Light, hy an Answer to a late Book, en- 
titled, * Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's Book.' 
London, 1694." The author of this Answer to Dr. 
South was Dr. Arthur Bury, whose work, bearing 
the title of " The Naked Gospel," has been already 
noticed, and was publicly burnt at Oxford in 1690 ; 
— ^" a book," says Dr. Francis Gregory, " wherein 
its author did seem somewhat to favour the Socinian 
heresie, and by some expressions obliquely to ques- 
tion our Lord's divinity. "f In Dr. Bury's answer, 
he treats first upon the doctrine of the Trinity, and 
then upon that of the Incarnation. But of the 
Trinity he makes nothing more, than the three 
attributes of Power, Wisdom and Goodness ; and 
the Incarnation he explains in the following flippant 
manner. " We have seen two men that were made 
one admiral hy a joint commission; and we see every 
day many men incorporate into one political body 
hy patent^ whereby they are one person in law. And 
in this known sense are the godhead and manhood 
joined together in one person, whereof comes one 
Christ, and very God and very man. "J Hence, as 
we are given to understand, Jesus Christ is a God 
by commission, or patent; and Wisdom, (or the 
second person in Dr. Bury's Trinity,) is made one 

* Considerations, &c. p. 17. 

t A Divine Antidote against a Devilish Poyson, &c. p. 118. 

\ The Doctrine of the Trinity placed in its due Light, &c. p. 62. 


person in law, with the man Christ Jesus. The 
author of the " Considerations" justly denounces the 
conduct of a Clergyman, who could profess, and 
openly defend such doctrines as these, and yet retain 
his preferment. It has been conjectured, that " The 
Doctrine of the Trinity placed in its due light," 
had the effect of bringing about Dr. Bury's recon- 
ciliation with the Church, and restoring him to his 
Rectorship of Lincoln College, Oxford.* Nothing 
of this kind, however, appears in the " Considera- 
tions," in the third page of which he is simply 
described as " Head of a College, and well known 
by his other writings." 

The anonymous author of the next Explication, 
or " Twenty-eight Propositions, by which the Doc- 
trine of the Trinity is endeavoured to be explained," 
was Dr. Edward Fowler, Bishop of Gloucester. His 
object was so to explain that doctrine, as to make 
it not contradictory to natural reason ; and his Uni- 
tarian opponent admits, that he has avoided numer- 
ous contradictions, which may be charged upon it, 
as held by others, who had previously taken part in 
the controversy. But though His Lordship steers 
clear of what he calls contradictions to natural rear 
son, the author of the " Considerations " distinctly 
proves, that he has not been able to avoid certain 
numerical contradictions ; besides, that his scheme, 
(which is that of the Post-Nicene Fathers, as contra^ 
distinguished to that of the Schoolmen,) is attended 
with other insuperable difficulties. "I reckon," 
says the Considerator, " there is a difference between 
natural contradictions, and numerical contradictions. 

• Monthly Repository, 1S13, p. 786. 


A natural contradiction implies an inconsistency, 
and impossibility, in the nature of the thing de- 
scribed, as there described ; a numerical contradic- 
tion is an error, committed in the summing up of 
things."* The latter kind of error he charges upon 
the author of the " Twenty -eight Propositions," 
which was soon afterwards republished, with addi- 
tions, under the following title. " Certain Proposi- 
tions, in which the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is 
so explained, according to the Ancient Fathers, as 
to speak it not contradictory to Natural Reason: 
together with a Defence of them, in Answer to the 
Objections of a Socinian Writer, in his newly printed 
' Considerations on the Explications of the Doctrine 
of the Trinity,' occasioned by those Propositions, 
among other Discourses : in a Letter to that Author. 
London, 1694." The patristical Trinity, which is 
essentially that of Bishop Burnet, as well as Bishop 
Fowler, is described, by the author of the " Consi- 
derations," f in the following terms. " They under- 
stand the Fathers as saying, that the three divine 
persons are persons in the proper sense of that word; 
which is to say, that they are distinct intellectual 
beings, and have different substances in number, tho' 
not in species or kind; their substances, like the 
substances of particular men or angels, are specific 
cally the same, and numerically divers or different. 
But the school-divines, and (generally speaking) the 
most learned of the moderns, with the greatest rea^ 
son in the world abhor this : they perceive, that it 
destroys the true and real Unity of God. It taketh 
away his proper^ and natural and numerical Unity, 

* Considerations, &c. p. 3d. t Pp* 36, 37. 


and leaveth only a certain political or (Bconamicd 
Unity ; which is indeed only an imaginary Unity. 
The schools therefore thought themselves obliged 
to alter this hypothesis, into that propounded by 
Dr. S — th : and because others have discerned, that 
the hypothesis or explication of the schools is a 
pure piece of nonsense; therefore they have changed 
it, same into a Trinity of attributes^ others into a 
Trinity of external denominations^ and others into 
other conceits ; yet so as still to keep to the foun- 
dation laid by the schoolmen, that there is hut one 
numerical substance in God, and that the attributes 
and perfections are not repeated as the persons are, 
but are as individual as the substance or nature is ; 
and in this consists the true diflference between the 
Fathers on the one part, and the Schoolmen and 
Moderns on the other." 

The work which next attracts our author's atten- 
tion is Mr. Howe's " Calm and Sober Enquiry con- 
cerning the Possibility of a Divine Revelation." 
On this work some remarks have already been 
made ; but the reader, it is hoped, will not regret 
having his attention again called to the subject, for 
the sake of the following able exposure of the fal- 
lacy of that writer's hypothesis. "The question 
between Mr. H — w, and the Socinians, is; How 
three (distinct, several, individual,) divine beings, 
essences, or substances, should remain three several 
individual substances, and yet at the same time be 
united into one divine substance, called God 1 Mr. 
H — w answers, first, the vegetative, sensitive and 
intellective natures in man, are distinct and several, 
and yet arc united into one human nature, or one 


lan. That is, he forgets, that the question is con- 
^rning the union of persons and substances : and 
is answer is concerning such natures, as are neither 
n'sons nor substances. For no man ever pretended, 
or ever will pretend, that the vegetative, sensitive 
lid intellective faculties (or powers) in the human 
ature, are so many distinct individual persons, 
ibstances or essences. We grant, that the three 
lentioned faculties are distinct in man's one nature: 
at what is this to three substances, or persons, or 
\sences, being united into one substance, or essence f 
-But he answers again ; the body and soul (which 
re two substances) are united into one man : and if 
lere is this union between such contrary natures 
lid substances, as the soul and the body, why may 
lere not be a like union, between two or three 
'eated spirits ; and if between three created spirits, 
hy not between three uncreated spirits? Here 
»ain he forgets the question ; the question is. How 
lall three intelligent substances and essences be 
nited, into one substance and essence 1 His an- 
wer is, as the soul and body are united. Why, 
ir, first, are body and soul intelligent substances, as 
le three (pretended) divine persons each of them 
re 1 or, are body and soul united into one substance, 
9 those other three are 1 Do not body and soul 
smain two substances and essences, a bodily and a 
piritual, notwithstanding their concurrence to the 
institution of a man % Does Mr. H — w think that 
le Socinians are so inobservant, that they need to 
e informed by him, that three (or three thousand) 
ibstances may be compounded together into some 
ne thing, and yet remain as distinct as they were 


before; or that we question, whether a soul can 
inhabit a human body] Are we such negligent 
considerers, that we want to be told, there may be 
a composition (or whatever more favourable name 
you will give it) of divers substances into some one 
thing, of another name and nature from any of those 
particular substances ; and yet those substances re- 
main distinct and diverse? He thinks, we have 
never seen a Christmas-pye ; where the plums, meat, 
sugar, wine, and other substances are distinct sub- 
stances, and yet are united into one pye. The thing 
that we want to know, is. How three intelligent 
essences or substances can be united into one inteU 
ligent essence or substance, and yet still be three 
intelligent substances or essences % The instance of 
soul and body, is far from this ; the body being no 
intelligent substance ; nor the soul and body made 
into one substance ; much less (as Mr. H — w's case 
requires) into one substance or essence of the same 
name and nature with either of them, and yet still 
remaining two individual substances or essences."* 
The last work, which the author of the " Consi- 
derations" notices, is Archbishop Tillotson's "Four 
Sermons concerning the Divinity and Incarnation 
of our Blessed Saviour." They were preached in 
the years 1679 and 1680, and published in 1693. 
In the folio edition of Tillotson's Sermons, they 
form part of the first volume, and are numbered 43, 
44, 45 and 46. The Archbishop also published, in 
quarto, " A Sermon concerning the Unity of the 
Divine Nature and the Blessed Trinity," (London, 
1693,) from 1 Tim. ii. 5, " For there is one God." 

* Considerations, &c. pp. 41, 42. 


This is numbered 48 in the same volume ; but it 
was not one of the four above mentioned, which 
were all from John i. 14, and to a criticism upon 
which the author of the " Considerations" devotes 
twenty-two pages, or nearly two-thirds of his whole 
work. He contends for that interpretation of the 
Proem of John's Gospel, which was propounded by 
Socinus, and which met with considerable fevour 
among the Unitarians of the seventeenth century. 
But he is less successful, both here and elsewhere, 
in his verbal criticisms, than in his general reason- 
ings. Had he adopted what has been termed the 
Photinian interpretation of this passage, which is 
substantially the same as the one that has been 
advocated in modem times by Dr. Lardner, Dr. 
Priestley, Mr. Wakefield, Dr. Barham,* and others, 
it would have given him a decided advantage over 
His Grace, and left nothing ftirther to be wished in 
this part of the controversy. But though he re- 
stricted himself unnecessarily to the interpretation 
of Socinus, he evinces here, as on all other occar 
sions, a peculiar aptitude for seizing upon the weak 
points of an adversary, and dexterously turning 
them to his own account. The Archbishop, for in- 
stance, had objected to the Socinian interpretation 
of the words, " In the beginning," John i. 1, (as 
referring to the commencement of that dispensation, 
by which all things were created anew in Christ 
Jesus,) that it might just as reasonably be contended, 
that the same words, at the opening of the book of 
Genesis, mean, " At the commencement of the Mo- 

• Vide Gospel Advocate, Vol. I. pp. 342—349. 3S6— 372. 


sale dispensation ;" that the creation of heaven and 
earth denotes the institution of the Jewish poUty 
and religion ; and that the chaos, which preceded 
this creation, signifies the state of darkness and 
ignorance, in which the world was, before the giving 
of the law by Moses.* But the author of the " Con- 
siderations" endeavours to shew, that the two cases 
are not parallel ; and that, if they were, it would be 
as allowable for the interpreter of the first Chapter 
of Genesis to explain it of the beginning of the 
Mosaic dispensation, as Socinus thought it incum- 
bent on him to explain the Proem of John's Gospel 
of the commencement of the Christian dispensation. 
" If that Chapter," says he, meaning Gen. i., " im- 
puted the creation there spoken of to Moses; if it 
said. In the beginning Moses created the heavens 
and the earth ; he said, Let there be light, and there 
was light; it would be not only not absurd^ but 
absolutely necessary, to interpret the Chapter alle- 
gorically and figuratively. It would be necessary 
to say, that the heavens and the earth are the Jewish 
polity and religion ; and that the light is that law of 
God given by the ministry of Moses^ by which the 
former ignorance or darkness was dispelled. And 
he that should not thus interpret, but suppose that 
a man made the heavens and earth, in the literal 
sense, should either make the author of the book 
a blasphemer^ or himself a /oo/."f 

The last publication of the year 1694, to which 
it will be necessary to advert, is, " A Letter to the 
Reverend the Clergy of both Universities, concem- 

• Works of Abp. TiUotson, Vol. I. p. 449. 
t Considerations, &c. p. 47. 


ing the Trinity and the Athanasian Creed, with Re- 
flections on all the late Hypotheses, &c. Non quis^ 
sed quidr This stands third in the " Third Col- 
lection" of Unitarian Tracts, and is dated Dec. 10th, 
1694. The author does not identify himself with 
the Unitarians as a hody, for he speaks of " our ovon 
writers,"* in contradistinction to them ; and of ^'our 
Divines, who so extremely clash with one another, "f 
But his Letter is, from beginning to end, an able 
and triumphant exposure of the disagreements, ex- 
isting among professed Trinitarians. 

He divides his Letter into ten Chapters, the first 
of which is explanatory of the object of the rest. 
He addresses himself to the clergy, as he tells them, 
to gain all the assistance which he can, in his reli- 
gious inquiries. By satisfying his own scruples, he 
informs them, that they wiU be satisfying those of 
a great number of pious men, who are harassed by 
the same doubts as himself; doubts occasioned, in 
a great measure, by the differences and divisions, 
existing among the clergy, about the Doctrine of 
the Trinity. He lays it down, as a principle, that 
a man, who is obliged to believe a thing, must know 
what that thing is, before he can believe it. He 
contends, that a person can neither affirm, nor deny, 
— ^believe, nor disbelieve a proposition, which he 
does not understand ; that it is impossible to assert 
something of nothing, or of that respecting which 
we have no idea ; and that a man may as well be 
required to do a thing, when he knows not what it 
is that he has to do, as to believe, when he cannot 
comprehend what he is to believe. He dwells upon 

♦ p. 4. t P- 3. 


the danger which there is of falling into idolatry, 
or the worship of three Gods, when there are almost 
as many Trinities as writers, and when their Tri- 
nities are not only various, but actually opposed to 
each other. The Trinitarians, he says, agree only 
in the same words, by which they make their party 
and number to appear more considerable than it is ; 
whereas, if they are reckoned according to their 
divisions and subdivisions, they are the most incon- 
siderable of all sects. They are so far from agreeing, 
that they are infinitely divided among themselves ; 
and he who has the good luck to write last, is sure 
to expose the errors of those, who have had the 
misfortune to precede him. On this diversity he 
founds an argument for greater moderation towards 
the Unitarians ; at least, till the Trinitarians can 
agree among themselves, whether it be a Trinity of 
Minds, Essences, Somewhats, Attributes, Faculties, 
Modes, External Denominations, or what not, which 
is to be adored. 

The whole Letter is one continued chain of sound 
and close reasoning ; and it would be difficult to 
select any passage, to which a preference could be 
given, as abler, or better argued than the rest. We 
may content ourselves, therefore, with running has- 
tily over the subjects of the remaining nine Chap- 
ters, from which some idea may be obtained of the 
nature of the author's plan. Chapter II. contains 
some general reasonings on the Athanasian Creed. 
In Chapter III. we have an outline of the schemes 
of the Nominal Trinitarians. Chapter IV. relates 
to the Trinity of Dr. South ; and Chapter V. to 
those of Dr. Wallis, Dr. Bury, and the rest of the 


Nominalists. Chap. VI. is devoted to a consider- 
ation of the schemes of the Realists. Chapter VII. 
relates to the Trinity of Dr. Fowler, Bishop of 
Gloucester ; Chapter VIII. to that of Mr. Howe ; 
and Chapter EX. to that of Dr. Sherlock, as revised 
and improved by himself, in his Defence against Dr. 
South, and Mr. Howe. The concluding Chapter 
treats on a belief in Mysteries. 

At the commencement of the year 1695, an honest 
tradesman, of the name of John Smithy wearied and 
disgusted, like the author of the "Letter to the 
Clergy," and many others, with the repeated unsuc- 
cessful attempts of the learned to give an expla^ 
nation of the Trinity which should afford general 
satisfaction, ventured to draw up and print a short 
treatise, under the title of " A Designed End to the 
Socinian Controversy: or a rational and plain Dis- 
course to prove that no Person but the Father of 
Christ is God Most High." For reasons which 
will soon appear, this was not included in the Third 
Collection oif Unitarian Tracts ; and copies of it had 
become so scarce, that its very title was unknown 
to the generality of book-collectors at the close of 
the last century. But the late Michael Dodson, 
Esq., on turning over a heap of waste paper, hap- 
pened to cast his eye upon a copy of it, from which, 
under his superintendence, it was reprinted in 1793, 
for circulation among the tracts of the London Uni- 
tarian Society.* For twenty years after the repub- 
lication of this rare tract, almost as little was known 
of the history of its author, as had been previously 

• Monthly Repository, Vol. Vm. p. 781 ; Vol. III. N. S. p. 352. 
VOL. I. 2 A 


known of the tract itself. It appeared, indeed, from 
the title-page, that it was written by a certain 
" John Smith."* But who John Smith was, no one 
was able to tell. There were doubtless hundreds 
of that name then, as there are still : but without 
the aid of any better clue than the bare name of 
John Smith, the attempt to discover the author, 
and establish his identity, would have proved utterly 
vain and fruitless. 

At length, in the year 1813, the late J. T. Rutt, 
Esq., gained some information upon this subject, 
from an octavo volume, which he picked up at a 
book-stall, and of which he gave an interesting 
account in the " Monthly Repository " for that year. 
The title-page of this volume was as follows. " A 
Divine Antidote against a Devilish Poyson, or a 
Scriptural Answer to an Antiscriptural and Here- 
tical Pamphlet, entitled, ' A Designed End to the 
Socinian Controversie, written by John Smith :' an- 
swered by Francis Gregory^ D.D.^ and Rector of 
Hambleden, in the County of Bucks. London, 
1696."f The following is from the learned Doctor's 
Address " To the Christian Reader." 

" To shake the faith, and stagger the minds of 
orthodox Christians, touching the doctrine of the 
glorious Trinity, there came out a little book, which 
by mere accident I met with. A book stuffed with 
blasphemous falsehoods, too much magnifying hu- 
mane reason, abusing the sacred word of God, 
denying the divinity of Christ, and the personality 
of the Holy Ghost. What censure its author de- 

• Vide Art. 355. 

t Monthly Repository, Vol. VIII. p. 710. 


serves, let authority judge ; but I will venture to 
say that the hook itself doth both deserve and need 
the flames ; for 'tis so abominably foul, that nothing 
can purge it, save only that which consumes it too. 
This book was first put into my hand by an eminent 
citizen of London, [Qu. Mr. Firmin X] who informed 
me, 'that its author is by trade a clockmaker.' 
This being so, it may be thought a matter of no 
great credit for a divine of the Church of England 
to dispute a point of faith against an illiterate me- 
chanic."* On the face of this extract, it would 
appear as though no notice had been taken, by the 
civil or ecclesiastical authorities, of the publication 
of John Smith's pamphlet. But we learn from 
other sources, as will be seen by and by, that this 
was not the case. 

In the year 1695, Dr. Hickes, the celebrated non- 
juring Clergyman, published anonymously, " Some 
Discourses upon Dr. Burnet and Dr. Tillotson; 
occasioned by the late Funeral Sermon of the former 
upon the latter," 4to. ; and in No. viii. of the Ap- 
pendix to these Discourses, we find the following 
allusion to John Smith's pamphlet. " Besides seve- 
ral libels against the state, many heretical and Soci- 
nian books have been seized and stopt, particularly 
one entitled, ' A Brief and Clear Confutation of the 
Trinity,' which was publicly burnt, by order of both 
houses of parliament, and the author prosecuted ; 
and one other lately taken with its author, called 
' A Designed End to the Socinian Controversy, or a 
rational and plain Discourse to prove that no other 
Person but the Father of Christ is God Most 

* Mod. Rep. ubi supra, pp. 711, 712. 



High."* Dr. Hickes, in his Preface, ascribes the 
prosecution of John Smith to the active vigilance 
of Archbishop Tillotson,f but probably on insuffi- 
cient grounds ; for this sturdy non-juror is known 
not to have been over scrupulous, as a writer on sub- 
jects, in which his own prejudices were concerned, 
or his own personal feelings excited. Dr, BirchX 
alludes to the " strong and clear answer" of Bishop 
Burnet to Hickes's "Discourses ;" and to " the many 
charges of misrepresentation and falsehood" imputed 
to their author by the Bishop. The following is 
the title of Burnet's answer. " Reflections upon a 
Pamphlet, entituled, 'Some Discourses upon Dr. 
Burnet and Dr. Tillotson, occasioned by the late 
Funeral Sermon of the former upon the latter ; ' by 
the Rt. Reverend Father in God, Gilbert, Lord 
Bishop of Sarum. London, 1696." But in this an- 
swer, although some gross calumnies are examined 
and exposed, not the slightest notice is taken of the 
one, in which Archbishop Tillotson is charged with 
persecuting the Unitarians, or of many others of 
less importance ; the reason of which appears from 
the following paragraph, extracted from p. 155. " I 
have left many trifling things without any answer; 
not for want of good matter, but from that just 
tediousness that it gives to a man's self, as well as 
to his readers, to enter into a long discussion of 
many trifling stories relating to himself. I have 
not considered many reflections he makes on some 
of my Reverend Brethren^ nor these he levels at our 

• Dr. Disney's Preface to the 2nd Ed. of « The Designed End to 
the Socinian Controversy," p. iv. 

t Ibid. X Life of TiUotson, pp. 317, 318. 


Most Reverend Primate; they shew a keenness of 
spite that can hurt no man but himself, and there- 
fore I pass them over." But, as regards the par- 
ticular charge now under consideration, it is suffi- 
cient to observe, that Archbishop Tillotson died 
Nov. 22nd, 1694 ; and that the " Designed End to 
the Socinian Controversy" was not pubUshed till 
the beginning of the year following. Yet, whoever 
may have instigated the prosecution of John Smith, 
for the publication of this pamphlet, there is great 
truth in the following remark of Dr. Hickes, re- 
specting the Unitarians of those times, that " cer- 
tainly there must be something formidable in their 
books, and some reasonings in them, which these 
men of latitude cannot well answer, that they use 
so much diligence to suppress them."* 

Most of the publications in this controversy, and 
particularly those on the Unitarian side, were anony- 
mous ; and the authors of the latter so effectually 
preserved their incognito, that no clue to their dis- 
covery is known to exist. It was, therefore, a bold 
thing for John Smith to announce his name in the 
title-page of his pamphlet. But he had not antici- 
pated, and was not prepared to meet the conse- 
quences of his own rash act. An information was 
lodged against him in the Spiritual Court ; his book 
was suppressed ; and, to ward off ulterior measures, 
he submitted to the humiliating act of signing a 
recantation. The documents, by which this fact is 
attested, were brought to light by Mr. Rutt, in 1829. 
That gentleman discovered them among " Bishop 

* Some Discourses, &c. Pref. pp. 6, 7. 


Kennet's Collections" in the Lansdown Manu- 
scripts* and made them public through the medium 
of the "Monthly Repository" for that year.f But 
as the attention of some will probably be directed 
to this account, who may not have access to that 
work, a copy of these curious documents is sub- 

" Die Mercurio xxiii Januar. 1694, coram Hen- 
rico Newton, Legum doctorem, Henrici Lond. Episc. 
Vicario in Spirs. Generali, comparuit Johannes 
Smith parochie Sancti Augustini Londinensis ciris 
et clock-maker, cui Dominus objecit librum per 
eundem Johannem Smith, scriptimi et publicatum, 
cui titulus, A Designed End to the Socinian Con- 
troversy, &c.. Anno Domini, 1694, impressum, in 
quo varii continentur errores in religione et con- 
trariee triginta novem Articulis Ecclesise Anglicanee, 
quarum omnia fassus est esse vera, ac submisit se. 

" Tunc Dominus monuit eum ad agnoscendiun 
crimen, quod ad statem perfecit legendo ac subscrib- 
ando schedulam presentibus annexam."J 

• 938, N. xvi. fol. 242. 

t Mon. Rep. VoL III. N. S. pp. 352, 353. 

X The errors in the above document are probably those of some clerk, 
or other official. The following is Mr. Rutt's translation. ** Wednes- 
day, 23d of January, 1694, before Henry Newton, Doctor of Laws, 
Vicar-General in Spirituals to Henry [Compton] Bishop of London, 
appeared John Smith, of the parish of St. Augustine, London, citizen 
and clock-maker, to whom his Lordship objected a book, written and 
published by the said John Smith, entitled, A Designed End to the 
Socinian Controversy, &c. printed in the year of our Lord, 1694, in 
which are contained various errors in religion, and contrary to the 
Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, all which he confesses 
to be true, and submits himself. — Then his Lordship admonished him 
to acknowledge his crime, which he did immediately, by reading and 
subscribing the schedule annexed to these presents." 


"Jan. 23, 1694. 
"Whereas I, John Smith, Citizen of London, 
presuming too fer upon my private reason and un- 
derstanding, have lately compiled, and rashly against 
my duty sette forthe a book entitled, ' A Designed 
End to the Sodnian Controversy, &c.,' printed in 
the year 1694, and thereto, with unusual confidence 
have set my name, in which book I have undertaken 
to assert, maintain and prove several points in di- 
vinity, contrary to the Articles of Religion com- 
monly called the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church 
of England, and contrary to the established laws 
and statutes of the realm, — I, John Smith, do hereby 
declare, that I am very sorry for the same, and wish, 
with all my heart, I had not either written, or 
caused to be printed, the said book, asking forgive- 
ness of all such as have been hurt thereby, or justiy 
scandalized thereat, and retracting all pernicious 
errors and heretical positions contained in the said 
book. And I do hereby promise, with sincerity and 
truth, to abstain from all occasions of falling into 
the like miscarriage as much as in me lies, and to 
behave myself, for the time to come, as befits an 
humble, peaceable, modest, and quiet Christian. In 
vritness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, &c., 

" John Smith." 

It will be seen, that the date of these documents 
is January 23rd, 1694; but, according to the mode 
of dividing the year which then prevailed, from the 
1st of January to Lady-day was considered as be- 
longing to the preceding year, so that their proper 
date, according to our present mode of reckoning, 


would be January 23rd, 1695. It is probable that 
most of the copies of John Smith's pamphlet were 
seized before they had got into circulation ; and on 
a comparison of the date of the recantation with 
that of Dr. Gregory's " Antidote," it becomes diflBL- 
cult to acquit the Doctor of an affected ignorance 
of the legal process which had been commenced 
against the unfortunate clock-maker. Expressions 
certainly occur in the course of the volume, which 
convey the idea, and are intentionally worded so as 
to leave on the reader's mind the impression, that 
the author was in doubt whether " John Smith " 
was a real, or an assumed name. 

Dr. Gregory, as Mr. Rutt observes, " is a polemic 
of the school of South rather than of Tillotson." 
In modern times " he has scarcely been excelled, if 
even equalled, as a coiner of opprobrious epithets ;" 
and the name and occupation of the object of his 
attack afford him inexhaustible subjects, on which 
to discharge the shafts of his wit. Much of his 
time had been spent in teaching youth ; and this 
may account, in some measure, for the dictatorial 
tone which he often assumes, and the terms of dis- 
paragement which he lavishes upon those, who, not 
having enjoyed the same literary advantages as 
himself, venture to express an opinion of their own 
on theological subjects. In the early part of his 
life he was an Usher at Westminster School, under 
the celebrated Dr. Busby ; after which he became 
successively Master of the Free-Schools at Wood- 
stock and Witney. At both these places he con- 
tinued several years, and attained considerable 
eminence as a Schoolmaster. His contemporary. 


Anthony Woody says, " this Dr. Gregory is now at 
Hambleton, free firom the noise of a school ;" and 
it was at his own rectory, in that quiet village, that 
he prepared his " Antidote to the Devilish Poyson" 
of John Smith, whom he classes with " Ebion, and 
that villain Cerinthus, who held, and endeavoured 
to propagate the same cursed opinion." 

"This very assuming Socinian champion," says 
the Doctor, "calls himself, if his printer do not 
nickname him, John Smith ; and truly, as the poet 
observes, ' convenient rebus nomina ssepe suis,' this 
person's name is apposite enough, and somewhat of 
kin to his occupation ; for I am informed this great 
undertaker, and reconciler, is by trade a clock- 
maker, and therefore a man, in all probability, who 
never had anything of a liberal and learned edu- 
cation; perhaps, indeed, some little skUl in the 
Mathenuiticks may be useful to him in framing a 
clock, but in his managing this great and contro- 
verted point of Divinity, as we do not expect any 
mathematical^ so neither can we find any logical 

After investing the author of the " Designed End 
to the Socinian Controversy" with the titles of 
" heretical clockmaker — illiterate mechanick — Soci- 
nian scribbler — Socinian babbler — Socinian pam- 
phleteer," and many others of the same cast, the 
learned Dr. Gregory recommends him " not to pre- 
fer the private opinions of a few particular men 
above the general judgment of the Catholic Church ;" 
and concludes by giving him the following advice. 
— " And now, for a farewell, let me recommend to 
you that counsel of the Roman orator — 'Artem 


quam quisque novit, earn exerceat,' and those vulgar 
proverbial speeches, ' ne sutor ultra crepidam,' and 
' tractent fabriha fabri :' since the wisdom of nations 
is said to lie much in their proverbs, it will be your 
prudence to govern yourself by these ; the meaning 
whereof is this: that every man should exercise 
that art only which he well understands; that a 
shoemaker should not presume to go beyond his 
last ; that a smith should deal with those materials 
and tools only which are proper for his vocation. 
And since your name is Smith, and, as I am credi- 
bly informed, your employment being that of a 
clockmaker, is somewhat suitable thereunto, you 
may do well to lay aside the use of pen, ink and 
paper, in order to the writing of books, and to take 
up the hammer, or use the anvil; to mind the 
springs, wheels and movements of your clocks ; to 
leave the interpretation of Scriptures, and the deci- 
sion of controversies, to learned men, who are able 
to manage them a great deal better." 

But in spite of the Doctor's superior acquirements, 
of which he takes special care that the reader shall 
not want proofs, a vein of practical good sense runs 
through the pamphlet of honest John Smith, which, 
notwithstanding a few erroneous interpretations of 
Scripture, chargeable rather upon the age in which 
he lived, than upon himself, contrasts agreeably 
with the coarse wit, and pedantic conceit of his 
Reverend assailant. 

Early in the year 1695, Dr. John Williams^ Pre- 
bendary of Canterbury, and afterwards Bishop of 
Chichester, published " A Vindication of the Sermons 
of His Grace, John, Archbishop of Canterbury, con- 


ceming the Divinity and Incarnation of our B. 
Saviour; and of the Lord Bishop of Worcester's 
Sermon on the Mysteries of the Christian Faith ; 
from the Exceptions of a late Book, entitnled, ' Con- 
siderations on the Explications of the Doctrine of 
the Trinity :' to which is annexed, A Letter from 
the Lord Bishop of Sarum to the Author of the said 
Vindication on the same Subject. London, 1695," 
4to. The "Imprimatur" is dated Nov. 17, 1694, 
the day immediately preceding that, on which Arch- 
bishop Tillotson had the apoplectick attack, which 
terminated his life ; and the author states, in his 
Dedication to James Chadwick, Esq., the Archbi- 
shop's son-in-law, that the work was undertaken 
with the sanction, and prepared under the auspices, 
of His Grace, to whose mspection the manuscript 
was submitted, although he lived only to read and 
revise a portion of it. To this " Vindication," as the 
title-page intimates, was subjoined " A Letter " to 
the author, by Bishop Burnet, dated Feb. 2, 1694-5, 
in which His Lordship expresses himself with great 
contempt respecting the Unitarian portion of the 
controversy.* To this "Letter" the Archbishop 
not improbably alluded, when he said to Mr. Firmin, 
" My Lord of Sarum shall humble your vmters." 

It is a fact well known to those, who are ac- 
quainted with the ecclesiastical history of the time, 
that the Sermons, which Archbishop Tillotson pub- 
lished, for the purpose of clearing himself from the 
charge of Socinianism, had just the opposite effect ; 
and tended to confirm the suspicions, which had 
been raised in some minds, respecting his unsound- 

* BircKs Life of Tillotson, pp. 295, 296. 


ness in the faith.* Charles Leslie^ a non-juror, and 
virulent polemical writer of that period, made these 
very Sermons the ground-work of an attack upon 
the Archbishop, in which His Grace is charged 
with Socinianism, and something more. The book 
professes to have been printed in Edinburgh, though 
the author is said never to have visited Scotland. 
It bore the following title. " The Charge of Soci- 
nianism against Dr. Tillotson considered, in an 
Examination of some Sermons he has lately pub- 
lished, on purpose to clear himself from that Impu- 
tation, by Way of Dialogue between F., a Friend 
of Dr. Tillotson's, and C, a Catholic Christian: to 
which is added Some Reflections upon the Second 
of Dr. Burnet's Four Discourses concerning the 
Divinity and Death of Christ, printed in 1694: to 
which is likewise annex'd A Supplement upon Oc- 
casion of a ' History of Religion ' lately published, 
supposed to be wrote by Sir R. H— — d :f wherein 

• Biog. Brit Art, Tillotson, Vol. VI. Pt i. p. 3952. 

t Sir Robert Howard. The full title of this tract is, " The History 
of Religion, as it has been managed by Priestcraft : written by a Person 
of Quality.'' It was originally published in 1694, and was reprinted in 
a volume of tracts, entitled, " An Account of the Growth of Deism in 
England, with other Tracts of the same Author : to which are added, 
Sir Robert Howard's * History of Religion,* &c. London, 1709," 8vo. 
Sir Robert Howard is described by Toland, in his " Life of John Mil- 
ton," (pp. 138, 139,) as <' a gentleman of great generosity, a patron of 
letters, and a hearty friend to the liberty of his. country. Being told 
that he was charged in a book with whipping the Protestant Clergy on 
the back of the Heathen and Popish Priests, he presently asked what 
they had to do there ? He was a great admirer of Milton to his dying 
day ; and, being his particular acquaintance, would tell many pleasant 
stories of him, as that he himself having demanded of him once what 
made him side with the Republicans ? Milton answered, among other 
reasons, because theirs was the most frugal government ; for that the 
trappings of a Monarchy might set up an ordinary Commonwealth." 


likewise Charles Blount's ' Great Diana ' is consi- 
dered ; and both compar'd with Dr. Tillotson's ' Ser- 
mons:' by a true Son of the Church." The author 
of this brutal attack says of His Grace, whom he 
calls " Dr. Tillotson," and from whom he studiously 
withholds all recognition of his archiepiscopal dig- 
nity ; — ^^ His politics are Leviathan, and his religion 
is Latitudinarian, which is none ; that is, nothing 
that is positive, but against everything that is posi- 
tive in other religions, whereby to reduce all reli- 
gions to an uncertainty, and determinable only by 
the civil power. — He is own'd by the Atheistical 
wits of all England as their true Primate and Apos- 
tle. They glory and rejoice in him, and make their 
public boasts of him. He leads them not only the 
length of Socinianism (they are but slender beaux 
have got no farther than that) but to call in question 
all revelation, to turn Genesis^ &c. into a mere 
romance ; to ridicule the whole, as Blount, Gildon, 
and others of the Doctor's disciples have done in 

The next reply to the "Considerations" was by 
the Rev. John Howe^ and was entitled, " A View of 
that part of the late * Considerations ' addressed to 

The work to which Toland alludes in the above passage was ^ The 
History of Religion." Its author ** thought and probably conversed 
with the early English Unitarians. He was a great admirer of Arch- 
bishop Tillotson, and was accused, together with Tillotson, of Deism, 
if not Atheism, by the * accuser of the brethren/ Leslie. There is a 
letter of his in reply, in a weU-written and amusing book, called ' A 
Twofold Vindication of the late Archbishop of Canterbury and of the 
author of the History of Religion,' Svo. 1696. The writer of the second 
part of this work, a Clergyman, was a Unitarian, though not a Socinian. 
See pp. S9. 101. 145. ;** and Mon. Rep. Vol. XI. p. 661. 

• Birch*8 Life of TUlotson, pp. 296, 297. 



H. H. about the Trinity, wWcli concerns the * Sober 
Enquiry' on that Subject : in a Letter to a Friend."* 
This Letter is written with some degree of spright- 
liness, and with an appearance of good temper ; and 
Mr. Howe endeavours to shew, that he has not been 
quite fairly dealt with by the Considerator. In 
other respects there is nothing worthy of notice in 
his Letter, except the allusions which the writer 
incidentally makes to his anonymous opponent, and 
the high estimate which he forms of his talents and 
attainments. " The author," says Mr. Howe, " is 
pleas'd to give me the honour of a name, a lank, 
unvocal one.f It is so contrived, that one may 
easily guess whom he means, but the reason of his 
doing so I cannot guess; it is because he knew, 
himself, what he would have others believe. But 
I suppose he as well knew his own name. If he 
knew not the former, he ran the hazard of injuring 
either the supposed author, or the true, or both. I 
could, I believe, make as shrewd a guess at his 
name, and express it as plainly ; but I think it not 
civil to do so, because I apprehend he had some 
reason to conceal it, whereof I think he had a right 
to be the judge. But I will not prescribe to him 
rules of civility, of which that he is a great judge, 
I will not allow myself to doubt." J A little fiirther 
on, Mr. Howe says, " For himself, I discern, and 
readily acknowledge in him those excellent accom- 
plishments, for which I most heartily wish him an 

• Howe's Works, Vol. II. p. 587. 

t " Mr. H — w." The name is not printed at full length, because 
the ** Calm and Sober Enquiry" was published anonymously. 
\ Howe"9 Works, Vol. II. p. 588. 


advocate in a better cause." He styles the author 
of the "Considerations" " my learned antagonist ;"♦ 
" the very sagacious author, of whose abilities, and 
industry together, I really have that opinion, as to 
count him the most likely to confute this hypothesis 
of all the modem Anti-Trinitarians ;"f and "-this 
very ingenious writer, so well acquainted with the 
gust and relish of inteUectual deUght."J Having 
occasion, towards the close of his Letter, to allude 
to the author of " Animadversions on a Postscript 
to the Defence of Dr. Sherlock against the * Calm 
Discourse of the Sober Enquirer,' as also on the 
'Letter to a Friend' concerning that Postscript ;"§ 
he says, " Who this is I will not pretend to guess, 
only I guess him not to be the same with the Con^ 
siderator^ for this, besides other reasons, that he calls 
the author of the ' Considerations,' a great man ; and 
I scarce think he would call himself so." || Alluding, 
again, in the " Advertisement," 5[ to the author of 
" A Letter to the Clergy of both Universities," he 
says, " I leave him to compoimd that diflFerence with 
his abler Considerator'' It would hence appear, 
that the author of the "Considerations" was deemed 
a person of some note, independently of what may 
be inferred from the general tenor of his contro- 
versial writings; and as Mr. Howe was able to 
" make a shrewd guess at his name," it is much to 
be regretted, that his sense of civility restrained him 
from so doing, for this single conjecture would have 
been of more value, in our day, than all his abortive 

• p. 689. t P- 590. X Ibid. 

S Third Collection of Tracts, No. 2. 

II Houje'B Works, Vol. II. p. 607. f P. 609. 


attempts to prove " the possibility of a Trinity in 
the Godhead." It has been suspected, that Mr. 
Locke and Sir Isaac Newton* both took part in 
the Trinitarian controversy, and even contributed 
to the three Volumes of Unitarian Tracts, published 
during the contest between South and Sherlock; 
but in the absence of direct evidence, it is useless 
to speculate upon a subject involved in so much 
uncertainty. Bishop Law thought, that there was 
good ground for believing the traditional report, 
that one of the above-mentioned tracts came from 
Mr. Locke's pen ; and that this report derived con- 
firmation from the style of the sixth tract in the 
Third Volume, containing a defence of his own 
work, entitled, " The Reasonableness of Christianity 
as delivered in the Scriptures." But, besides that 
this tract professes to have been written by one, 
who was personally unacquainted with the author 
of that work, Mr. Locke himself explicitly says, in 
the Codicil to his Will, after enumerating several 
of his anonymous writings, in which this is not in- 
cluded, — " These are all the books of which I am 
the author, which have been published without my 
name to them."f In the face of a declaration like 
this, it is a reflection upon the integrity of Mr. 
Locke's character to suppose, that he was concerned, 
either directly or indirectly, in the authorship of 
the old Unitarian Tracts, published towards the 
close of the seventeenth century. Nor is the evi- 
dence much stronger, as regards Sir Isaac Newton. 
Tradition, indeed, has assigned to him the ninth 

• Vide Art. 356 and 357. 

t Lord Kinff's Life of John Locke. Lond. 1S30, Svo. Vol. 11. p. 52. 


tract in the First Volume, entitled, " The Acts of 
Great Athanasius." Mr. Whiston thought, that the 
internal evidence in fevour of his bemg the author 
was considerable ; but was nevertheless of opinion, 
that he could not well have written " one ludicrous 
paragraph" contained in this tract, because he was 
uniformly grave and serious, and never dealt in 
ludicrous matters.* It has also been thought pro- 
bable, that Sir Isaac Newton was the author of the 
third tract in the Second Volume, containing an 
" examination of the principal texts usually alleged 
for the divinity of our Saviour," in reply to the Rev. 
Luke MUboume's work, entitled, " Mysteries (in Re- 
ligion) vindicated." The first Chapter of that tract 
is devoted to an investigation of the evidence ad- 
duced by Mr. Milboume in favour of the reading of 
the Received Text in 1 Tim. iii. 16, which is one 
of the passages discussed by Sir Isaac Newton, in 
his " Historical Accoimt of two Notable Corruptions 
of Scripture." But on comparing the Chapter in 
question with the latter part of the "Historical 
Account," it will be seen, that there is little, if any- 
thing, common to the two, which might not have 
been expected from different authors, treating upon 
the same subject. On the whole, then, it seems 
improbable, that Sir Isaac Newton was one of the 
writers of the old Unitarian Tracts. His extreme 
timidity, to say nothing more, would most likely 
have prevented him from lending his aid to so bold 
and perilous an enterprise, as the composition and 
publication of these tracts. " It seems to have been 
owing to his natural shyness, and modesty, and fear 

• Vide Art 357, No. 10. 
VOL. I. 2 B 


of being drawn into controversy," says Mr. Lind- 
sey* " that this most eminent person never openly 
declared his sentiments on this important subject, 
in his life-time ; and rather insinuated them indi- 
rectly in those writings which were published after- 
wards. I find however that some, who lived nearer 
those times, ascribed this prodigious reserve to a 
blameable timidity, and fear of persecution. For 
the anonymous author of a pamphlet of some repute, 
who wrote about 20 years after Sir Isaac's death, 
having mentioned Mr. Emlyn's sufferings in this 
cause, proceeds to say: This persecuting spiritf 
* kept in awe, and silenced some extraordinary per- 
sons amongst us, Sir Peter King, Sir Joseph Jekyll, 
and the greatest man of the age, and glory of the 
British nation, I mean, the renowned Sir Isaac 

It was during the year 1695, that Mr. Locke 
published "The Reasonableness of Christianity;" 
but it appeared without his name, and his most 
intimate friends were not let into the secret, that 
he was the author. He was reluctant, indeed, to 
prefix his name to anything of a controversial cha^ 
racter, whether on the subject of religion or politics. 
Many anonymous works on topics of passing interest 
were attributed to him, some of which he undoubt- 
edly wrote; and among them was "The Reason- 
ableness of Christianity," of which he acknowledged 
himself to be the author in the Codicil to his WilL} 
In a letter to his friend Mr. Molyneux, dated July 

• Hist View, Chap. vi. Sect. v. pp. 402, 403. 

t Causa Dei contra Novatores, &c. pp. 31. 58. London, 1748. 

\ Life of Locke, ubi supra. 


2nd, 1695, lie says, " With my ' Treatise on Edu- 
cation,' I believe you will receive another little one 
concerning ^ Interest and Coinage.' It is one of the 
fEitherless children which the world lay at my door ; 
but, whoever be the author, I shall be glad to know 
your opinion of it." In a subsequent letter, written 
on the 20th of November in the same year, and 
addressed to the same gentleman, he says, in allusion 
to this work, " However you are pleased to make 
me a compliment, in making me the author of a 
book you think well of, yet you may be sure I do 
not own it to be mine till you see my name to it."* 

We know, from more sources than one, that Mr. 
Locke, in the winter of the year 1694, devoted him- 
self, with great earnestness and assiduity, to the 
study of Christian Theology. There is still among 
his manuscripts a book, with the title, " Adversaria 
Theologica," which was begun in that year, and in 
which the arguments for and against the doctrines 
of the Trinity, and the Supreme Deity of Jesus 
Christ, are ranged in opposite columns. His bio- 
grapher. Lord King^^ says of these arguments, 
which he presents to the reader "as specimens," 
that ** they may be considered as indications of his 
opinions ;" and that those opinions were Antitrini- 
tarian no one can doubt, who merely glances at the 
specimens produced by His Lordship. 

" The Reasonableness of Christianity" did not 
long escape the notice of the orthodox party, and 
was particularly offensive to the Clergy, and the 
majority of Nonconformist Divines in England. The 

* Familiar Letters, pp. 118 and 128. 

t The Life of John Locke, Vol. II. p. 186. 



Rev. John Edwards^ B.D.j in particular, assailed it 
with the utmost vehemence, in a work entitled, 
" Some Thoughts concerning the several Causes and 
Occasions of Atheism, especially in the present Age, 
with some brief Reflections on Socinianism, and 
on a late Book, entituled, * The Reasonableness of 
Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures/ Lon- 
don, 1695." 

To that part of Mr. Edwards's book, which related 
to " The Reasonableness of Christianity," a reply, 
by the author of that work, soon appeared, under 
the title of " A Vindication of ' The Reasonableness 
of Christianity,' &c. from Mr. Edwards's Reflections. 
London, 1695." In this " Vindication " Mr. Locke 
disclaims the name Socinian; and says, that Mr. 
Edwards " has no more reason to charge " his book 
" with Socinianism, for the omissions he mentions, 
than the Apostles' Creed. 'Tis therefore well," he 
adds, " for the compilers of that Creed, that they 
lived not in Mr. Edwards's days ; for he would, no 
doubt, have found them ' all over Socinianized,' for 
omitting the texts he quotes, and the doctrines he 
collects out of John i. and John xiv., p. 107, 108. 
Socinianism, then, is not the fault of the book, 
whatever else it be. For I repeat it again, there is 
not one word of Socinianism in it."* 

Mr. Edwards had saidj-f that Mr. Locke ex- 
pounded John xiv. 9, &c., after the Antitrinitarian 
mode, and made Christ and Adam to be sons of 
God, in the same sense as « the Racovians " gene- 

• The Works of John Locke, Esq., FoL, London, 1769, VoL IL 
p. 592. 

t P. 112. 


rally do. In reply to this charge, Mr. Locke says, 
" I know not but it may be true, that the Antitri- 
nitarians and Racovians understand those places as 
I do : but 'tis more than I know, that they do so. 
I took not my sense of those texts from those wri- 
ters, but from the Scripture itself, giving light to 
its own meaning, by one place compared with ano- 
ther : what in this way appears to me its true mean- 
ing, I shall not decline, because I am told that it is 
so understood by the Bacovians, whom I never yet 
read ; nor embrace the contrary, though ' the gene- 
rality of divines * I more converse with should de- 
clare for it."* It is the great charm, not only of 
" The Reasonableness of Christianity," but of all 
Mr. Locke's writings on religious subjects, that he 
does not depend upon mere human authority, but 
goes to the Scriptures themselves for his faith, and 
makes them their own interpreters. If his conclu- 
sions happen to accord, in many, or even in most 
instances, with those of the Socinian commentators, 
as they most certainly do, the greater is the proba- 
bility, that those conclusions are fairly and legiti- 
mately deduced : but it was the part neither of a 
Christian, nor a gentleman, on that account, to 
attempt to fix upon him the opprobrious name of 
Socinian^ when he disclaimed it, and shewed that it 
did not in fairness belong to him, and could not be 
applied to him in any rational and consistent sense. 
Another defence of "The Reasonableness of Chris- 
tianity," from the pen of an avowed Unitarian, 
appeared before the end of the year 1695, which 
has been attributed by some, as we have already 

• Works, Vol. II. p. 694. 


seen, to Mr. Locke himself.* It forms the sixth in 
the Third Collection of Unitarian Tracts, and bears 
the following title. " The Exceptions of Mr. Ed- 
wards, in his * Causes of Atheism,' against *The 
Reasonableness of Christianity as delivered in the 
Scriptures,' examin'd, and found unreasonable, un- 
scriptural and injurious." The author of this tract 
was not aware, that " The Reasonableness of Chris- 
tianity " was written by Mr. Locke ; but he com- 
mends the plan of that work, as well as the mode 
of its execution, and states his conviction, that the 
author has shewn, with full evidence of Scripture 
and reason, that the fundamentals of Christianity 
are all comprehended, or implied in this plain pro- 
position, — that Jesus is the Messiah.-j' 

Mr. Edwards, author of "The Causes of Atheism," 
was the son of the Rev. Thomas Edwards, who, 
about half a century earlier, had rendered himself 
conspicuous by the publication of the work, called, 
" Gangrjen A, or a Catalogue and Discovery of many 
of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies, and pernicious 
Practices of the Sectaries of this Time, &c." He 
was a worthy scion of such a stock ; and, like his 
father, always had a pen pointed with sarcasm, and 
dipped in gall, ready to aid the party arrogating to 
itself the name of orthodox. He lost no time in 
publishing a reply both to Mr. Locke's "Vindi- 
cation," and to the tract above mentioned. The 
title of this reply was, " Socinianism Unmask'd : a 
Discourse shewing the Unreasonableness of a late 

• Vide p. 304. 

t Dedication, or Address to the author of '' The Reasonableness of 
Christianity," prefixed to the " Exceptions, Ac." 


Writer's Opinion oonoeming the Necessity of only 
One Article of Christian Faith, &c. ; with a brief 
Beply to another (professed) Sodnian Writer. Lon- 
don, 1696." It is dear, that Mr. Edwards knew 
who was the author of " The Reasonableness of 
CShristianity ;" or, at least, that he gave credit to the 
coxrent report of the day, which attributed it to 
Mr. Locke. But he availed himself of the circum- 
stance of its being published anonymously, in order 
that he might give the greater license to his pen. 
" I will not waste time," says he,* " and trouble the 
reader and myself about guessing who the author 
is. Out of Christian good-will and charity, I am 
backward to believe that he who is vogued to be 
the father of these extravagant conceits is really so. 
I will still perswade myself that there is an error of 
the person ; upon which account I shall be more 
firee than otherwise I should have been." Mr. Ed- 
wards, however, has done, by oblique hints, that 
which he refrained from doing openly, and which 
he professes j" not to have done at all. 

As specimens of Mr. Edwards's controversial stylo, 
it will be sufficient to select the following epithets, 
applied by him to the author of " The Reasonable- 
ness of Christianity." — " This guilty man :" J " this 
upstart Racovian:"§ "this meek man:"|| "this 
flourishing scribbler :"5[ "a prudential Racovian :"♦♦ 
"our good Ottoman writer :"ff "this late under- 
taker:" J J "this inferior inquisitor:" "this censo- 
rious gentleman :"§§ "our hasty author :"|||| "our 

• Introd. A. 2. 3. 

t P. 138. 

X P. 6. 

$ P. 24. II P. 36. 

H P. 41. 

•• P. 45. 

tt P. 53. \X P. 56. 

§§ P. 61. 

nil P. 77. 


Bacovian :" " this late proselyte :"♦ " our late con- 
vert :"f "this new convert:" J "a pupil of Sod- 
nus :"§ "an egregious whiffler, or a notorious dissem- 
bler :" II " the criminal :" ^f " this judicious casuist :"♦♦ 
"a stubborn dissembler." ff 

The Unitarian Tracts, published during the great 
controversy of this period, were generally printed 
in small 4to., with double columns. To this circum- 
stance Mr. Edwards alludes, on more occasions than 
one, calling them " the double-column'd prints," J J 
and their authors " double-column'd gentlemen," §§ 
and " double-column'd writers." |||| He is very par- 
ticular, too, in directing the reader's attention to 
the fact, that Mr. Locke's book is got up in a dif- 
ferent way from these, as though this difference 
involved some great mystery. He accordingly re- 
presents Mr. Locke as saying to himself,5[5[ " I will 
carry it cunningly : wlnlst the dauble'Columti'd prints 
are openly and in a downright way advancing the 
cause, I will do as much service underhand. They 
look directly towards Poland or Transylvania, they 
publicly profess themselves to be Socinus's followers, 
but I'll be upon the reserve, and so disguise myself 
that it shall be very difficult to discover me. I 
will make the world believe that I never heard of 
such a man as Socinus ; and if they tell me that I 
speak his very language as perfectly as if I were a 
native of Sienna, I'll face them down that I had it 
not by fingring of any Socinian authors, but by a 
kind of natural revelation. If I compass my end, it 

• P. 85. t P. 00. t P. 95. § p. 97. 

II P. 98. % p. 102. ••p. 105. tt P- 112. 

tX Introduction. §§ P. 115. |||| P. 139. %% Introd. 


is enough, and I caie fiir no more. And my end is 
this, to hale in Socinianism after a new manner.*^ 
It was the discovery of this profirand secret, which 
led Mr. Edwards to entitle his book ^ Socinianism 
Unmask'dJ* The nnmaslring consisted in a labo- 
rious effort to substantiate the following charges 
against the author of ^ The Beasonableness of Chris- 
tianity." 1. That he had crowded all the essential 
articles of the Christian £Edth into one, with the 
design of favouring Socinianism; 2. that he had 
shewn his good-will to the Sodnian cause by giving 
an Antitrinitarian interpretation to those texts, 
which are presumed to have a reference to the Holy 
Trinity ; and 3. that he had given proofe of his Soci- 
nianiring tendencies, by his silence respecting the 
doctrine of Satisfaction, although he undertook to 
enumerate the advantages and benefits of Christ's 
coming into the world.* 

Appended to Mr. Edwards's "Socinianism Un- 
mask'd" is "A brief Reply to another Socinian 
Writer," which aboimds in aU the more prominent 
peculiarities of that reverend gentleman's compo- 
sitions. The Socinian writer, against whose pam- 
phlet his ** Reply" was directed, Mr. Edwards calls 
" the Reverend Examinator,"f and " this professed 
and known writer of the brotherhood." J But 
though he is classed among the members of the 
clerical profession, of his name Mr. Edwards gives 
not the slightest hint. The Rev. Stephen Nye, 
Rector of Hormhead, is probably the person in- 
tended. Be this as it may, however, it is some- 
thing to have learned, that all the authors of the 
• P. 4. t P. 118. X P. 127. 


Unitarian Tracts were not la3rmen ; and that it was 
a Clergyman, by whom the "Exceptions to Mr. 
Edwards's ^ Causes of Atheism,' against ^ The Sea^ 
sonableness of Christianity,' " were " examin'd, and 
found unreasonable, and unscriptural, and injur 

But there was another Clergyman, who took part 
in this important controversy, and had the courage 
to identify his own principles with those advanced 
by Mr. Locke in his " Keasonableness of Chris- 
tianity." This was the Rev. Samuel Bolde, Sector 
of Steeple, in the Isle of Purbeck, who published 
"A Short Discourse of the true Knowledge of Christ 
Jesus: to which are added some Passages in the 
' Reasonableness of Christianity, &c.,' and its ' Vin- 
dication;' with some Animadversions on Mr. Ed- 
wards's Reflections on ' The Reasonableness of Chris- 
tianity,' and on his Book, entituled, ' Socinianism 
Unmask'd.' London, 1697." In the " Short Dis- 
course," which is from Phil. iii. 8, the author recom- 
mends in the warmest terms, Mr. Locke's design of 
uniting all Christians in one compact body; and 
sharply rebukes those, who are opposed to that 
design, as unfolded in " The Reasonableness of 
Christianity." At the close of his "Animadver- 
sions," he says,* " In short, if the * Reasonableness 
of Christianity as delivered in the Scripture,' doth 
merit no worse a character, on any other account, 
than it doth justly deserve, because it advanceth 
and so fully proveth this point. That Christ and his 
Apostles did not propound any Articles as necessarily 
to be believed to make a man a Christian, but this, 

* Some Passages in the Reasonableness of Christianity, &c. p. 52. 


T%at Jesus is the Christ, or Messias, I think it may 
with great justice be reputed one of the best books 
that hath been pubUshed for at least these sixteen 
hundred years." The liberality of Mr. Bolde stands 
out conspicuously in this, and all his other pub- 
lished writings;* and is the more praiseworthy, as 
there seems no ground for suspecting his orthodoxy 
on the subject of the Trinity. The main points for 
which he contends are, that Christ and his Apostles 
required no further profession, than that Jesus was 
the Messiah ; that the primitive Christians suffered 
solely on account of this profession, and not for their 
&ith in any particular doctrines; and that it is 
antichristian to insist upon anything, as a part of 
the religion of Jesus, which Jesus himself has not 

* This liberal clerg3rman was instituted Rector of Steeple, in the 
3rear 1682, and died in the month of August, 1737, at the advanced age 
of eighty-eight, having held the living fifty-six years. He was impri- 
soned in the reign of James the Second, for " A Sermon against Perse- 
cation,'' in favour of the French Refugees, from Gal. iv. 29 (1682, 4to.) ; 
and for his *'Plea for Moderation towards Dissenters." (See Hut- 
chins's ''History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset; 2nd Ed.," 
YoL I. p. 330.) He held the Vicarage of Shapwicke fourteen years ; 
but either resigned it, or was ejected from it, in 1688. Besides the 
Disoourses above mentioned, Mr. Bolde published one from 1 Pet i. 15 
(1676, 4to.), entitled, "Man's great Duty;" another from Rev. iii. 20 
(1687, 12mo.); a third from Rom. viiL 18 (1689, 4to.), entitled, "An 
Exhortation to Charity ;" and two on the Accession of George I., from 
Ps. cxxzvL 23, and from Deut. xxziii. 29 (1716-1716). In the Ad- 
dress to the Reader, prefixed to his Sermon for the benefit of the French 
Refugees, which was preached March 26th, 1682, he speaks of the 
Dissenters, with whom he has been acquainted, as " men of great learn- 
ing, exemplary piety, strict devotion, and extraordinary loyalty; men 
who have been diligent attenders on God in his public ordinances, and 
eminently religious in their families ; — that could not be justly blamed 
for anything, but that they had straiter notions concerning human im- 
positions in the service of God than we Conformists have." 


Mr. Edwards, whose pen was never dry, pub- 
lished, in the course of the same year, " The Soci- 
NiAN Creed, or a brief Account of the professed 
Tenents and Doctrines of the Foreign and English 
Socinians ; wherein is shew'd the Tendency of them 
to Irreligion and Atheism, with proper Antidotes 
against them. London, 1697." After having " gone 
through the several particulars and members which 
make up the body of Socinianism," taking a little 
here, and a little there, from the writings of Socinus, 
Volkelius, Smalcius, Crellius, and others among the 
Polish Brethren, Mr Edwards proceeds* to give a 
summary view of the Socinian doctrines, in the form 
of a Creed ; and for every separate article in this 
Creed he holds the whole body of English UnitSr 
rians responsible. But with just as much reason 
might any contemporaneous Unitarian writer have 
exhibited another Creed, as the Creed of Mr. Ed- 
wards and his party, made up of the heterogeneous 
mass of materials, supplied by the controversial 
writings of Drs. Wallis, Sherlock and South. 

Considering the false medium, through which 
this Reverend Divine saw everything relating to 
the doctrines of the English Unitarians, he is pro- 
bably not entitled to implicit credit in what he 
advances respecting their practice. In the course 
of his work, however, he has incidentally mentioned 
certain things respecting them, to which it may not 
be uninteresting to allude, and the truth of which 
there seems no particular reason to call in question. 
He tells us, for instance, that none of the English 
Unitarians in his time had " any set meetings for 

• Chap. ix. pp. 207—212. 


the propagating of their doctrme, as men of other 
perswasions" had; that there was " not so much as 
one single Meeting in the way of religion and wor- 
ship upheld by the Socinians;"* but that they 
mixed with others, " and particularly sometimes 
with the Churches of the Conformists ; " and that 
some of them had been, and still were " professed 
members of the Church of England, "f From these 
statements it may be inferred, that the English Uni- 
tarians, in Mr. Edwards's time, consisted chiefly of 
members of the Established Church ; but that they 
were occasionally found also in connexion with other 
religious bodies. Mr. Edwards fiirther says, that, 
though they wrote in defence of their own opinions, 
yet they concealed their very names and persons ; 
and that, notwithstanding their opposition to mys- 
teries, they hid themselves in the clouds, and would 
not let the world know who they were. These 
practices he regards as proofs of their indifference, 
and of their want of true zeal in defence of their 
own cause.} " It is not only cowardice," says he, 
" but something of a worse nature that makes them 
thus mask themselves. These Knights Errant (who 
come not like those of old to do kindnesses to the 
distressed) will not vouchsafe to lift up the beavers 
of their helmets, and let us see who they are, be- 
cause by this concealment they are abler to do the 
greater mischief. They lie hid, and publish not 
their names, that thereby they may have the advan- 
tage of sajdng what they please, and aspersing whom 
they will- vith their audacious pens ; that by this 
means tht^y may have free liberty to disturb the 

• Chap. viii. p. 180. t P. 183. % P. 184. 


world, to unsettle men in their opinions, to b^t 
disputes and wranglings, to bring in Scepticism and 
indiflFerency in religion, and at last Atheism."* 
How successfully the authors of the old Unitarian 
Tracts preserved their incognito, appears fix)m Mr. 
Edwards's confession, that he was "a perfect stranger 
to them," and knew " nothing of the gentlemen but 
their books f'-f and yet, if we may judge from the 
conjectures which he sometimes hazards, he was 
not a little curious to learn something more. " We 
are not sure," says he, J " that some of those who 
go under the names of English Sodnians are not 
foreigners. Is not Crellius's stock somewhere har- 
bour'd among them ? Have there not been strange 
outlandish books at the press of late ) May we not 
suspect some Transylvanians and Folanders em- 
ploy'd in the work lately ? Are we not sure that 
there are some Irish as well as English engaged in 
the service ? Why then are we nice in distinguish- 
ing, when they are not differenc'd as to their work 
and design?" By "Crellius's stock" we are pro- 
bably to understand Samuel and Paul Crellius. 
Samuel published inLondon, 8vo., 1697, his " Faith 
of the Primitive Chnsi^ns proved from Barnabas, 
Hennas, and Clemens Rontons," under the feigned 
name of Lucas Mellierus^ infl^j^to Bishop Bull's 
" Defence of the Nicene FaithT*^ *^^ during his 
stay in this country visited Sir Isa^lLJ^^wton, who 
made him a handsome present at jHI^J^P^^^^^* 
By "strange outlandish books" is prob^^ meant, 
books in a foreign or dead language. One ^^ ^^^ 

• P. 185. t P. 187. X Chap, i^ P- 214. 

§ Vide Art. 358, No. 3. r 


books may have been Samuel Crellius's " Fides Pri- 
momm Christianorum," just mentioned. Another 
was probably the "Tractatus Tres," published in 
1694-5, the last of which has been attributed, not 
wi&out good reason, to Samuel Crellius.* The 
mention of ^^ Irish as well as English," is probably 
an allusion to Mr. Molyneux, of Dublin, the active 
fiiend and correspondent of Mr. Locke, f In " The 
Sodnian Creed," the author mentions "Mr. Lock" 
repeatedly by name, as the author of " The Reason- 
ableness of Christianity;" and exults over him, 
because he has not replied to "Socinianism Un- 
mask'd." He regards Mr. Locke's silence as a proof 
of inability to produce an eflFective defence of him- 
self^ and his opinions, from the charges brought 
against him. This roused the indignation of Mr. 
Locke, who lost no time in preparing, and publish- 
ing "A Second Vindication" of "The Reasonable- 
ness of Christianity," with a Preface to the Reader, 
including a letter, addressed to Mr. Bolde, explana- 
tory of the origin of that excellent work. 

At the commencement of this " Second Vindica- 
tion," Mr. Locke says, " A cause that stands in need 
of £Eilsehoods to support it, and an adversary that 
will make use of them, deserve nothing but con- 
tempt; which, I doubt not, but every considerate 
reader thought answer enough to * Mr. Edwards's 
Socinianism Unmask'd.' But since, in his late ' So- 
cinian Creed,' he says, ' I would have answered him 
if I could,' that the interest of Christianity may not 
suffer by my silence, nor the contemptibleness of 

• Vide Art. 368, No. 2. 

t Locke's Familiar Letters, 1708, 8vo. p. 216. 


his treatise afford him matter of triumph amongst 
those who lay any weight on such boasting, 'tis fit 
it should be shewn what an arguer he is, and how 
well he deserves for his performance to be dubb'd, 
by himself, 'irrefragable.'"* 

In the " Second," as in the First " Vindication," 
Mr. Locke indignantly repels the charge of appro- 
priating to his own use the interpretations of Sod- 
nian authors. Of the writings of Socinus, Crelhus 
and Schlichtingius, from which Mr. Edwards chai^ 
him with borrowing, he distinctly declares that he 
never read a page ;f and he gives it, as the result 
of his observation upon the pending controversy, 
that "the Socinians themselves," who were most 
forward in the advocacy of free and unrestrained 
discussion, were as much wedded to their own or- 
thodoxy, and as much bent upon making converts 
to their own peculiar views, as other men. "When 
'tis observed," says he, J " how positive and eager 
they are in their disputes; how forward to have 
their interpretations of Scripture received for au- 
thentick, though to others, in several places, they 
seem very much strained ; how impatient they are 
of contradiction; and with what disrespect and 
roughness they often treat their opposers ; may it 
not be suspected, that this so visible a warmth in 
their present circumstances, and zeal for their ortho- 
doxy, would (had they the power) work in them, 
as it does in others ? They, in their turns, would, 
I fear, be ready with their set of fundamentals; 
which they would be as forward to impose on others, 

• Locke's Works, Vol. II. p. 605. t Ibid. pp. 668. 689. 

X p. 656. 


as others have been to impose contrary fundamen- 
tals on them." 

In a Postscript to "The Socinian Creed," Mr. 
Edwards added some " Brief Reflections on a late 
Book, entituled, * A Short Discourse of the True 
Kjiowledge of Christ Jesus, &c., by S. Bold, Rector 
of Steeple, Dorset.' " He reproaches Mr. B. for so fer 
debasing himself, and the position which he holds 
in the Church, as to become "Mr. L.'s journeyman."* 
In reference to Mr. B.'s " Animadversions," he says, 
that Mr. Locke and his friends " have made a tool 
of Mr. B., and under the shelter of a Clergyman's 
name, have imposed their notions upon the reader, "f 
" I have heard," says he,J " that these very objec- 
tions and cavils which are here used were made use 
of by the party, and therefore it is probable that 
though they appear under the name of S. B., yet 
they might more truly have had J. L., or A. and 
J. C. prefix'd to them." Now " J. L." clearly denotes 
John Locke; and " A. and J. C." are the initials of 
Awnsliam and John Churchill^ Mr. Bolde's publish- 
ers, whom Mr. Edwards evidently suspected of hav- 
ing something more than a pecuniary interest in 
the publication of works such as those of Mr. Bolde, 
and other liberal theological writers of the day. 
This suspicion leads Mr. Edwards to remark, in 
another place,§ that when his eye caught the bottom 
of Mr. B.'s title-page, and he saw that the work 
" came from the lower end of Paternoster-Row," he 
"gather'd thence who had a hand in it." 

In the course of the year 1697, Mr. Bolde de- 

• The Socinian Creed, P. S. p. 245. f P. 254. 

X P. 251. S P. 239. 

VOL. I. 2 c 


fended the view, which he had taken of " The ReaF 
sonableness of Christianity," in " A Reply to Mr. 
Edwards's ' Brief Reflections,' &c.," in the Prefece 
to which '' something is said concerning Reason and 
Antiquity in the chief Controversies with the Sod- 
nians." In the year following, Mr. B. published 
"Observations on the Animadversions (lately printed 
at Oxford) on a late Book, entituled, ' The Reason- 
ableness of Christianity, as delivered in the Scrip- 
tures;'" with which he took his leave of this part 
of the controversy. 

Among the opponents of Mr, Locke vras Dr. 
Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester, who 
charged him with heterodoxy, in " A Discourse in 
Vindication of the Trinity. London, 1697." To 
this charge Mr. Locke replied, in " A Letter to the 
Lord Bishop of Worcester ;" and after the exchange 
of one or two other Letters, the controversy ceased 
in the year 1698, Mr. Bolde again took the part 
of his friend, Mr. Locke, in " Some Considerations 
on the Principal Objections and Arguments which 
have been published against Mr. L.'s ' Essay of Hu- 
mane Understanding,' 1699;" and at a still later 
period he published " A Discourse concerning the 
Resurrection of the same Body: with two Letters 
concerning the necessary Immateriality of created 
thinking Substance. 1705." In the latter work he 
professes to consider what two or three authors 
have offered against certain passages in Mr. Locke's 
" Third Letter to the Bishop of Worcester." The 
whole of the works, written by Mr. Bolde in defence 
of Mr. Locke, form an octavo Volume, and were 
published in 1706, with the following general title. 


"A Collection of Tracts, in Vindication of Mr. 
Lock's 'Reasonableness of Christianity, as deliver'd 
in the Scriptures ;' and of his ' Essay concerning 
Humane Understanding, &c. : by Sa. Bolde, Rector 
of Steeple, Dorset." 

Having deviated from the chronological order of 
events, for the purpose of completing our review of 
the controversy, which arose out of the publication 
of " The Reasonableness of Christianity," we must 
now return to the year 1695, in which Dr. Fowler, 
Bishop of Gloucester, published, in 4to., " A Second 
Defence of the Propositions, by which the Doctrine 
of the Holy Trinity is so explained, according to 
the ancient Fathers, as to speak it not contradictory 
to natural Reason, in Answer to a Socinian MS., in 
a Letter to a Friend ; together with a Third Defence 
of those Propositions, in Answer to the newly pub- 
lished Reflexions, contained in a Pamphlet, enti- 
tuled, * A Letter to the Reverend Clergy of both 
Universities.'" This brought forth a " Reply" from 
the author of the manuscript, which occupies the 
fifth place in the " Third Collection of (Unitarian) 
Tracts," and bears the following title. " A Reply 
to the Second Defence of the XXVIII Propositions, 
said to be wrote in Answer to a Socinian Manu- 
script, by the Author of that MS., no Socinian, but 
a Christian and Unitarian." It is written in the 
epistolary form ; and though the person, to whom 
the author addresses it, is not named, the internal 
evidence is conclusive, as to its being Mr. ITiomas 
Firmin. Bishop Fowler was one of Mr. Firmin's 
most intimate and dearest friends;* and it appears 

• The Life of Thomas Firmin, p. 82. 



that the manuscript was commnnicated to him by 
Mr. Firmin, with the author's consent. But the 
Bishop must either have violated the conditions on 
which it was entrusted to his perusal, or made such 
a use of it as he was not justified in doing, without 
the author's permission. This may be inferred from 
the commencement of the "Reply," which is as 
follows. " I now find by notice in the Gazette^ that 
your learned and worthy friend, whose name you 
concealed from me, is the Lord Bishop of Glouces- 
ter. He has published an answer (which he calls, 
' A Second Defence of his Propositions') to a private 
manuscript, which he calls Socinian : which MS., 
to excuse his not publishing it, he tells his reader 
he had returned to you, and had it not by him, nor 
a copy of it. He saith he collected the substance 
of it ; I believe what he thought the substance ; but 
how should the reader judge of that? since, as a 
great master tells us, the context, the style, and the 
phraseology of an author must be well considered 
by one that means to understand him perfectly. 
But it seems he was not willing to lose an oppor- 
tunity to expose a heretick, tho' he strain'd civility 
in so doing." When the author consigned his 
manuscript to the hands o£ Mr. Firmin, he had but 
recently become acquainted with that gentleman. 
" My aim," says he,* " was only to let you (then my 
very new acquaintance) privately know my private 
judgment. I am none of your proselyte, nor no 
man's else. I profess sincerely, I fell into what I 
hold touching the Trinity, by freely thinking and 
seriously considering what I occasionally met with, 

• Reply, &c. p. 23. 


here and there, now and then." It appears from 
an expression, incidentally dropped by the author 
of the " Reply,"* that Mr. Finnin was beginning 
to grow weary of the "fruitless contention" about 
the Trinity ; and this may have been a reason with 
him for requesting permission to lend the manu- 
script to his " learned and worthy feiend," instead 
of advising its publication. Bishop Fowler pub- 
lished a third defence of his Twenty-eight Propo- 
sitions, which was answered in a tract, entitled, 
"The Reflections on the ^XXVIII Propositions 
touching the Doctrine of the Trinity, in a Letter to 
the Clergy, &c.,' maintain'd, against the 'Third 
Defence' of the said Propositions. 1695," This 
answer occupies the fourth place in the " Third Col- 
lection of (Unitarian) Tracts," and contains a com- 
plete exposure of the weak arguments, and illogical 
deductions of the Bishop. Annexed to it, by way 
of Postscript, is a reply to Mr. Howe's short notice 
of the " Letter to the Clergy ; " and the conclusion 
of this Postscript is well worthy of attention, on 
account of a very striking quotation from Athena- 
goras's " Apology for the Christians," addressed to 
Marcus Antoninus, which, as the author of the "Re- 
flections" justly observes, is as conclusive against 
a plurality of divine natures, or essences, for which 
the Realists contend, as against a plurality of Gods. 
"Pray consider," says Athenagoras, "the reasons 
why we affirm, that from eternity there was but 
One God, the Creator of the universe. If from 
eternity there have been two or more Gods, either 
they are united in one and the same essence, or each 

• P. 5. 



of them has a distmct essence to himself. But for 
them to exist in one and the same essence, is im- 
possible; for though they should be one in their 
denomination of gods, yet as begotten and unb^[ot- 
ten they must be different : seeing what is begotten 
resembles its parent, whereas the unbegotten is like 
nothing, being neither made of^ nor for anything. 
But if it should be said that many gods are one, as 
the hand, foot and eye are but parts of the same 
body, Socrates will tell you, that what is compounded 
of, and divisible into parts, is both made and cor- 
ruptible. But God is uncreated, impassible, and 
undivisible, therefore not consisting of parts. But 
if every one has a distinct existence, where shall 
the other or the rest be, whilst he that made this 
world surrounds and governs the creatures which 
he formed ? If the architect of this earth (which is 
of a spherical figure, inclosed within the celestial 
orbs,) be over his works, and rule them by his Pro- 
vidence; what place shall we assign to another 
God ? Not in this world, for it belongs to another ; 
nor over the world, for he that made it, is above it : 
and if he be not in the world, nor over the world, 
where can he be above the world or Gt)d ? Is it in 
another world ? If so, then he is nothing to us that 
governs not our world ; nor can his power be great, 
being confined to a certain place. If therefore he 
is neither in nor over this world, nor any other, (for 
there is no other, seeing all parts of the universe 
make but one world, whereof the entire extent is 
filled by its Maker) therefore he is nowhere, for 
there is no place for him. But supposing him some- 
where, pray to what purpose ? Plainly to none at 


all, &c. It will be said, perhaps to provide for us ; 
but certainly he cannot provide for those he has not 
made. It follows therefore that if he created no- 
thing, nor provides, nor can be confined to a place ; 
there is no other God at aU, but one from eternity, 
the only Creator of the imiverse."* 

Dr. South, who had long been silent, published, 
about this time, his " Tritheism charged upon Dr. 
Sherlock's new Notion of the Trinity, and the 
Charge made good. London, 1695," 4to. This 
work, like the " Animadversions," was anonymous. 
It contained a reply to Dr. Sherlock's " Defence," 
in answer to the "Animadversions;" but it has 
been observed, that, in this second work, as well as 
in the former one, the good sense, and great learn- 
ing of Dr. South, are constantly made the dupes of 
his boundless and inexhaustible wit. Dr. Sherlock 
was imhappy in his matrimonial connexion ; and to 
this untoward circumstance in his domestic history, 
Dr. South is said to have alluded in the following 
characteristic passage.f "The soul of Socrates, 
vitaUy joined with a female body, would certainly 
make a woman ; and yet, according to this author's 
principle, (affirming that it is the soul only which 
makes the person,) Socrates, with such a change of 
body, would continue the same person, and conse- 
quently be the same Socrates still. And in like 
manner for Xantippe, the conjunction of her soul 
with another sex, would certainly make the whole 

♦ Reflections on the XXVm Propositions, &c. P. S. pp. 35, 36. 
Athenag. Legatio pro Christianis, Colon. 1686, pp. 8, 9. 

t Tritheism charged upon Dr. Sherlock's new Notion of the Trinity, 
&c. p. 129. 


compound a man, and nevertheless Xantippe would 
continue the same person, and the same Xantippe 
still ; save only, I confess, that upon such exchange 
of bodies with her husband Socrates, she would have 
more right to wear the breeches than she had before." 
Immediately after this second work of Dr. Sooth 
had issued from the press, appeared a defence of 
Dr. Sherlock, bearing the following title. " Reflex- 
ions on the good Temper and &ir Dealing of the 
Animadverter upon* Dr. Sherlock's ' Vindication of 
the Holy Trinity ;' with a Postscript concerning a 
late Book, entituled, ' Tritheism charged upon Dr. 
Sherlock's new Notion of the Trinity :' in a liCtter 
to a Friend. London, 1695." These "Reflections" 
were anonymous ; but the author was a Trinitarian, 
and a zealous defender of the Dean of St. Paul's. 
In the opening paragraph of his pamphlet, he ex- 
presses his surprise, that Dr. South's " Animadver- 
sions " had been allowed to remain " without any 
full and particular rebuke " to the time of his writ- 
ing ; and alludes to an intimation, which he had 
received from the friend, to whom he addressed his 
" Reflexions," that the Doctor was " about to offer 
new occasion to increase " his " concern and won- 
der." While the " Reflexions " were passing through 
the printer's hands, this " new occasion for concern 
and wonder" made its appearance; and the author, 
in a Postscript, says, " I had the charity to believe 
there might be, after all, something of the gentieman 
remaining in him ; and therefore was inclined to 
think that, at least, some part of this book, that of it 
which is so abominably gross, was writ by another 
hand. But they who pretend to know him, say 'tis 


no such matter ; book and dedication, reasoning and 
railing, elegancy and oyster-wife rhetoric, 'tis all his 

The Church of England, at the time of which we 
are now writing, contained within its own bosom, 
as it probably does still, Trinitarians of every possi- 
ble shade of opinion, from the highest form of Tri- 
theism to the lowest form of Sabellianism ; and the 
author of the " Reflexions " above noticed, was by 
no means singular in his advocacy of the extreme 
views of Dr. Sherlock. " If," says another contem- 
poraneous author,-|- "we will say the truth. Dr. 
Sherlock was no more overseen in this ExpUcation 
of the Trinity, than the principal Divines and 
Preachers at London, and in both Universities." 
Among the " Divines and Preachers " here alluded 
to, was the Rev. Joseph Bingham, M.A., Fellow of 
University College, Oxford, who afterwards attained 
to great eminence, as a writer on "Ecclesiastical 
Antiquities." This Clergyman, on the 28th of Oc- 
tober, 1695, (the festival of St. Simon and St. Jude,) 
delivered a sermon before the University, in which 
he openly defended the scheme of Dr. Sherlock; 
asserting, "that there are three infinite, distinct 
minds and substances in the Trinity," and "that 
the three persons of the Trinity are three distinct 
infinite minds or spirits, and three individual sub- 
stances." At this imdisguised Tritheism, the friends 
of Dr. South took the alarm ; and on the 25th of 
November, in the same year, the subjoined Decree 
was passed in Convocation, censuring this doctrine 

• Reflexions, &c. P. S. p. 31. 

t An Account of Mr. Firmin*s Religion, p. 53. 


as £^06, impious and heretical ; at Tarianoe with, and 
contrary to, the doctrine of the Catholic Church, 
and especially to the commonly-receiTed doctrine of 
the English Church; and prohibiting all pCTSons, 
connected with the UniTcrsity of Oxford, from incul- 
cating any such doctrine, by preaching or otherwise. 

" In Conventu D. Vke-CanceUarii et Prafedanm 
CoUeffiorum et Aularum Universitatis Oxan. Die 
vicesimo quinto Norembris, A.D. 1695. 

" Cum in Condone nuper habita coram Universi- 
tate Oxon. in Templo S. Petri in Oriente, ad Fes- 
tum SS. Simonis et Judae proxime elapsum, hsec 
Verba, inter alia, publice prolata et asserta fiierunt, 
viz. [There are Three Infinite distinct Minds and 
Substances in the Trinity]. Item [That the Three 
Persons in the Trinity are Three distinct Infinite 
Minds or Spirits, and Three Individual Substances]. 
Quae Verba multis justam offensionis Causam et 
Scandalum dedere: 

" Dominus Vice-Cancellarius et Praefecti Col- 
legiorum et Aularum, in generali sue Conventu jam 
congregati, Judicant, Declarant, et Decemunt pra&- 
dicta Verba esse Falsa^ Impia^ et Haretica; Dissona 
et Contraria Doctrinae Ecclesiae Catholicae, et specia- 
tim Doctrinae Ecclesiae Anglicanae, publice receptee. 

"Quapropter praecipiunt et firmiter injimgunt 
Omnibus et Singulis, eorum fidei et curae commissis, 
ne tale aliquod Dogma, in Concionibus, aut alias, 
in posterum proferant. 

" Ex Decreto Domini Vice" Cancellarii et PrafeC" 

" Ben. Cooper, Not puhlicus 
et Registrarius Universitatis Oxon." 


The effects of this Decree upon the clergy were 
perfectly electrical. The Doctor's former abettors 
began to desert him in great numbers, and he was 
left almost alone. They said that Universities sel- 
dom speak in an authoritative tone ; but that, when 
they do, it is always to some purpose. The very 
same Qergymen, Dignitaries, and even Bishops, who 
had before cried up the Dean's sentiments as ortho- 
dox, and boasted of his writings as unanswerable, 
now charged him with heresy, and were among the 
foremost to justifj^ the issuing of the Oxford Decree. 
A new light seemed to have burst in upon their 
minds ; and Dr. Sherlock, who had before received 
the homage of multitudes of admiring votaries, was 
suddenly deprived of his oracular dignity, and pro- 
nounced to be only one degree higher, in the scale 
of Orthodoxy, than Valentine GentUis himself 

The order of events now requires, that we should 
notice, among other things, the last two in the 
« Third Collection of (Unitarian) Tracts," both of 
which were printed before the end of the year 

The former of these, which is the seventh in the 
volume, and which Dr. AUix erroneously attributed 
to the Rev. Stephen Nye, is entitled, " The Judg- 
ment of the Fathers concerning the Doctrine of the 
Trinity, opposed to Dr. G. Bull's * Defence of the 
Nicene Faith.' Part I. The Doctrine of the Catho- 
lick Church, during the first 150 Years of Chris- 
tianity, &c. London, 1695." When this was writ- 
ten, Dr. Bull's "Defensio Fidei Nicense" had been 
published about ten years ; and during that time it 
had remained without any answer. This was doubt- 


less owing to the circumstance of its being written 
in Latin, which would necessarily limit its circular 
tion, and confine the perusal of it to the learned 
few. It seems, indeed, to have been better known 
among the continental Divines than those of our 
own country. But the Doctor published another 
work, in the same language, A.D. 1694, entitled, 
" Judicium Ecclesiae Catholicse trium primomm 
Seculorum de Necessitate credendi quod Dominus 
noster Jesus Christus sit Verus Deus ; " and as the 
attention of the religious world was at that time 
particularly excited by the controversy between Dr. 
Sherlock and Dr. South, this became better known, 
and consequently obtained a larger number of read- 
ers, than the more voluminous work, containing a 
Defence of the Nicene Faith. 

The "Judicium Ecclesise Catholicae" may be re- 
garded as supplementary to the "Defensio Fidei 
Nicenae," and was indeed so intended by the author 
himself:* for as the latter was written in defence 
of the doctrine contained in the Nicene Creed, so 
the former was expressly designed as a vindication 
of the Anathema attached to that Creed, which is 
as follows. "Those who say 'there was a time 
when he [the Son] was not,' or ' before he was bom 
he was not,' or ' he was made out of things which 
are not,' or *he is of another substance or essence;' 
and those who maintain that the Son of Grod is 
either created, or convertible, or changeable ; these 
the Catholic and Apostolic Church denounces and 

Dr. Bull had been reading that part of Episco- 

• Praemonitio ad Lectorem. 


plus's " Institutiones Theologicae,"* in which he 
treats upon the necessity of believing the manner 
of the divine filiation of Jesus Christ, and puts the 
question, " Whether the fifth (and highest) manner 
of Christ's being the Son of God be necessary to 
be known and believed; and whether they who 
deny the same are to be excommunicated and ana- 
thematized r'-j* He says, that he penned some 
observations upon this subject for his own private 
use, or rather sketched the outline of a reply to the 
arguments, by which that learned Divine had endea- 
voured to prove, that the article concerning the 
divine generation of the Son of God, our Saviour, 
from God the Father before the ages, was by no 
means held, in the primitive Churches, to be one, 
the belief of which was necessary to salvation ; and, 
therefore, that these Churches cultivated fellowship 
with those persons, who not only denied this article, 
but believed and taught, that Christ was a mere 
man, who did not exist before the Blessed Mary. 
At the request of some friends, as he informs the 
reader, he was prevailed upon to fill up the outline 
which he had drawn, so as to produce what appeared 
to him a clear refutation of the opinion of Episcopius, 
from the testimonies of the primitive Fathers, and 
from Ecclesiastical History. But in publishing this 
work, he professes to have had a particular view to 
the numerous writings, which had been put forth by 
the Unitarians of his own times, whom he describes 
as " nefarious men, who have endeavoured with all 
their might to destroy and overturn the principal 

• Lib. iv, C. xxxiv. S. ii. 

t Nelson's Life of Bp. Bull, Sect. Ixvi. 


doctrine of our fiaith, on which Christianity hinges, 
some of them impudently defending the Arian, and 
others the Samosatenian hlasphemy."* He comforts 
himself, however, with the reflection, that these 
writings have been answered by some of his pious 
and learned countrymen ;-)- but laments, that a class 
of men have sprung up in the mean time, who, in* 
the capacity of mediators, have attempted to recon- 
cile and unite the Catholic Church with heretics, 
parties which, as he says, are as widely separated 
from each other as God and Belial.^ From such 
choice expressions as these, one is almost tempted 
to think, that Dr. Bull wrote in Latin, because he 
could indidge more easily in the language of vitu- 
peration, and employ epithets, which woidd scarcely 
have been tolerated in his mother-tongue. We can- 
not wonder, therefore, that the author of "The 
Judgment of the Fathers concerning the Doctrine 
of the Trinity," which was written principaUy in 
opposition to his first and largest work on the 
Nicene Faith, should treat him with less ceremony, 
and less respect, than his high position, and emi- 
nent attainments might otherwise have demanded. 
" It remains only," says the writer alluded to, in 
the conclusion of a reply extending over 78 quarto 
pages, " that I inform the reader, who hath not 
seen Dr. Bull's books, why I have answer'd so in- 
differently, and without any particular deference to 
the merit of his learning and abilities : for it cannot 
be denied, that this gentleman is a dexterous so- 
phister ; or that he has read the principal Fathers 
with a more than ordinary application, diligence 

• Pnemonitio ad Lectorem. f 1^*^* t ^^^ 


and observation. Dr. Bull has written two books, 
his ' Defence of the Nicene Faith,' and ' Judgment 
of the Catholic Church,' designedly and directly 
against the Unitarians, whether they be Arians or 
Socinians. In the first of these he attacks more 
particularly Chr. Sandius, a very learned Arian; 
and the author of * Irenicum Irenicorum,' who was 
D. Zwicker, M.D., a Socinian. Dr. Z wicker is 
complimented by Dr. Bull with such flowers as 
these ; ' bipedum ineptissimus,' the greatest fop in 
nature : * omnium odio, qui veritatem et candorem 
amant, dignus ;' deserving of the hatred of all lovers 
of truth and sincerity. Of Sandius he saith, 'he 
hath shipwrecked his conscience, as well as his faith; 
a trifler, a mere (empty) pretender :' he adds, at p. 
331, 'he hath only transcribed the author of Iren. 
Irenicarum ;' and in one place, he prays for Sandius 
as one that is mad. This, and such as this, is Dr. 
Bull's constant language concerning these two very 
learned men : nor doth he ever reply to them with- 
out pretending an absolute and incontestable victory; 
and casting some most unworthy scorn or other 
upon them by occasion of his supposed advantage. 
He never calls the Arians by any other name than 
' Ariomanitee,' the mad Arians ; and Socinianism is 
always with him, ' the Atheistical heresy ;' I do not 
remember that he ever calls our doctrine by a better 
name. In short, he hath expressed such a malevo- 
lence, and hath so notoriously and infamously broken 
the cartel of honour, and civility, that was thought 
to be agreed and establish'd between persons of 
excellent learning, or great abilities, when they 
happen to be engaged in contrary sides, that no 


respect or tenderness can be shewn to him by any 
Unitarian. His barbarities and immanities towards 
a person so little deserving such usage, and so much 
above Mr. Bull in all regards, as Sandius was ; and 
his arrogance towards, and (hare-brain'd) contempt 
of all Unitarians, whether ancient or modem; I 
say, his temerity and extravagance, in this kind, is 
so excessive, or rather is so outrageous, that he hath 
left to himself no manner of right or claim to the 
very least degree of humanity or good manners to- 
wards him."* 

The author of " The Judgment of the Fathers," 
in noticing the design, with which Dr. Bull wrote 
his " Defensio Fidei Nicen©," exposes a very com- 
mon fallacy, which runs through it, and vitiates 
all its reasonings. The Doctor professes to shew,f 
" that the approved Fathers and Teachers of the 
Church, who flourished before the Council of Nice, 
from the very age of the Apostles, unanimaushf 
taught the self-same thing, (although perhaps some- 
times in other words, and with a diflferent phrase- 
ology,) as the Nicene Fathers have determined, 
concerning the divinity of the Son, against Arius 
and other heretics." From these few words, the 
reader may see at once, what he has to expect from 
Dr. Bull. " The approved Fathers and Teachers of 
the Church " being, in Dr. Bull's estimation, those, 
and those only, who favour the doctrine embodied 
in the Nicene Creed, none but such as are agreeable 
to this doctrine are allowed to be " approved Fathers 

• The Judgment of the Fathers concerning the Doctrine of the Tri- 
nity, pp. 76, 77. 

t Prooem. § 9. 


and Teachers ;" and among these, Dr. Bull boasts 
that the most perfect " unanimity " prevails ! But 
let us hear what the author of " The Judgment of 
the Fathers" has to say of this boasted "unanimity" 
of Dr. Bull's "Patres et Doctores probata 

" Taking care, as he does, to limit himself to the 
approved Doctors and Fathers ; who is so dull (does 
Mr. Bull think?) as not to understand, that no 
Father or Doctor shall be allowed this (new and 
rare) title of Doctor probattis^ — approved Doctor^ — 
if Mr. Bull and he cannot accord about the Nicene 
Faith 1 What if an Arian or Socinian should make 
the like (impertinent) proposal, even to shew that 
all the approved Doctors and Fathers before the 
Nicene CJouncil did agree with Arius or Socinus ; 
would it not be laugh'd at? For would not the 
reader reply immediately, that this (insidious) word 
approved makes his attempt to be of no use at all ; 
because he will be sure not to approve any Doctor 
or Father, who is not of the party of Socinus or 
Arius. Therefore, if Dr. Bull would have spoke to 
the purpose, he should have said simply, that all 
the Ante-nicene Fathers or Doctors were of the 
same mind with the Doctors and Fathers in the 
Nicene Council, in the question of our Saviour's 
divinity : this had come up to the famous ifptr^ptoy, 
or rule of orthodoxy and truth, suggested first by 
Vincentius, and approved by all parties, — quod ah 
omnilms^ quod ubique^ id demum Catholicum est ; i. e. 
that which all the ancient Doctors have taught, and 
in all places, is Catholic and fundamental. But 
Mr. Bull durst not pretend to all the Doctors and 
Fathers before the Nicene Council; but only to 

VOL. I. 2d 



certain approved Fathers and Writers among diem, 
about 20 among upwards of 200. The reascm is 
evident ; he foresaw, that we should presently mind 
him of Theodotion, Symmachus, Paulus Patriarch 
of Antioch, Theodotus of Bjrzantium, AppoUonides, 
Hermophilus, Lucianus ; the authors of the Apos- 
tolical Constitutions and of the Recognitions; of 
Melito, Bishop of Sardis, who published a book 

with this title, «fH cri«*#c nd ytriw^^K XfMffnoi, Of the 

Creation and Birth of Christ : not to mention here 
the Nazarens or Ebionites, who inhabited Judea, 
Gralilee, Moab, the most part of Syria, and a great 
part of Arabia; or the Mineans, who had their 
Synagogues or Churches (says St. Jerom, Epist. ad 
Auffust.) over all Asia ; or the 15 first Bishops of 
Jerusalem. * * * Of the whole Unitarian party in 
general, it is noted in Eusebius, that they w«re 
learned in Logick, Natural Philosophy, Geometry, 
Physick, and the other liberal sciences; and, 'tis 
there (ridiculously) imputed to them as a fault, that 
they ej^celled in secular learning ; and (much more 
ridiculously) that they were great criticks, and ex- 
tremely curious in procuring correct copies of the 
Bible. Euseh. 1. 5. c. 28. * * * Furthermore, 
Dr. Bull appeals here to the approved Doctors and 
Fathers; but it appears that he would have it 
thought, that besides the 20 Fathers (or thereabouts) 
whom he has cited, those Fathers also whose works 
are (so unhappily) lost, were no less orthodox (as 
'tis called) in this question about our Saviour's divi- 
nity. But the criticks, who have written sincerely 
and impartially concerning the Fathers, are of opi- 
nion, that whereas there are now lost about 200, for 


(some) 20 Ante-nicene Writers and Fathers, who 
have been preserved, we are to impute this loss to 
the errors contained in their books ; more plainly, 
to their too manifest agreement with the Arian and 
Minean (now called the Socinian) heresies."* 

About the same time with "The Judgment of 
the Fathers concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity," 
appeared three treatises in Latin, bearing the fol- 
lowing titles. I. " Ante-Nicenismus, sive Testimo- 
nia Patrum, qui scripserunt ante Concilium Nice- 
num, unde coUigi potest Sensus Ecclesiae Catholicae, 
quoad Articulum de Trinitate." II. " Brevis Re- 
sponsio ad Domini D. Georgii Bulli Defensionem 
Synodi Nicenae : in qua Prsecipua Capita Defensio- 
nis refutantur." III. "Vera et antiqua Fides de 
Divinitate Christi asserta, contra D. D. G. Bulli 
Judicium Ecclesia, &c. per Anonymum." These 
were printed together, so as to form a small volume 
of 184 pages, under the general title, " Tractatus 
Tres," &c. In the first of them, as the title imports, 
we are presented with a list of Testimonies from 
the Fathers, who wrote before the Nicene Council ; 
and the author undertakes to collect from these 
Testimonies the sense of the Catholic Church re- 
specting the Trinity, during the first three centuries. 
It bears the imprint, "Cosmopoli, Anno 1694." 
The second contains a short answer to Dr. Bull's 
" Defensio Synodi Nicense," and a refutation of the 
principal heads of that work. It was printed in 
1695 ; but the title-page does not state by whom, 
or where. Both these have been attributed to Gil- 
bert Gierke, and are announced as his in the gene- 

• The Judgment of the Fathers, &c. § i. pp. 3 — 5. 



ral title-page.* Nor is there any good reason to 
doubt, that they were written by him; although 
Walchius informs us, that there were those, who 
believed them to have been the production of Samuel 
Crellius, who was most probably the author of the 
third, f 

One of the latest of the controversial publications 
of the year 1695, (the last, indeed, of that year, which 
we shall notice, as well as the last in the " Third 
Collection of Tracts,") is entitled, " A Discourse con- 
cerning the Nominal and Real Trinitarians." Its 
object is to shew, that there is a clear line of demar- 
cation between these two classes of Trinitarian be- 
lievers ; that the Nominalists, who are properly the 
Church, since they form the large majority of its 
members, are, in truth, neither more nor less than 
Unitarians in disguise ; and that the Kealists, who 
constitute a very small minority, must be content 
to be set down as believers in three distinct Gods. 
He endeavours to establish the claim of the Nomi- 
nalists to be considered the true Church, by shewing, 
firsts that their doctrine was recognized, in the most 
ample manner, and the most express terms, by the 
General Council assembled at the Lateran, in 1215 ; 
and secondly^ that Divinity Professors, and all ¥ni- 
ters, whether of controversy or systems, have uni- 
formly followed the doctrine so recognized. He 
next assigns the reason why the Nominalists are so 
called ; and points out the substantial agreement of 
their doctrine with that of the Unitarians, although 
disguised by the use of a number of obsolete terms 
and phrases. After this, he explains, in a separate 

• Vide AH, 351, Nos. 5 and 6. f Vide Art, 368, No. 2. 



Section, the doctrines of the ancient Nominalists, 
or the Noetians and Sabellians ; and, after a brief 
recapitulation, proceeds, in the five following Sec- 
tions, to substantiate the charge of Tritheism against 
the Realists. In the concluding Section, he makes 
it his object to shew, that the doctrine of the Uni- 
tarians is essentially the same as that of the Nomi- 
nalists ; only that the Unitarians express themselves 
in plainer, and more intelligible terms, and go to 
the point in a more direct and straight-forward 
manner. His recapitulation respecting the Nomi- 
nalist scheme is as follows. 

" They all agree, that the three persons of God 
are not subsisting persons; they are not so many 
distinct lives, understandings, wills, or energies, 
which (together with a particular substance) make 
a subsisting person^ and if they are more than one, 
they make so many physical real or subsisting per- 
sons : no, they are persons in a quite diflferent sense 
from that vulgar acceptation of the word persons. 
They are either three attributes of God ; Goodness, 
Wisdom and Power : or three external acts ; Crea^ 
tion, Bedemption and Sanctification : or two internal 
acts of the subsisting person of the Father ; that is 
to say, the Father, understanding and willing himself 
and his own perfections: or three internal relations; 
that is, three relations of God to himself; namely, 
the divine substance or Godhead, considered as im- 
begotten, begotten and proceeding : or three names 
of God, ascribed to him by the Holy Scriptures, 
because he is the Father of all things, by Creation ; 
and because he did inhabit and operate (after an 
extraordinary and miraculous manner) in the person 


of the man Christ Jesus, who was verily the Son of 
Grod, hy his wonderful manner of conception ; and 
(last of all) because he effecteth all things (more 
especially our sanctification) by his Spirit^ which is 
to say, his enei^ or power."* 

In conclusion, he says, with reference to such 
terms as Trinity^ Incarnation^ BsidHjfpostaticalUnUmj 
— ^*' But I must do the Church this right to confess, 
that most of her greatest men, particularly the first 
Reformers, have published to all the world their 
hearty desire, that all these terms of the Realists 
were abolished, and all were obUged to use the 
Scripture-language and words only; which would 
heal all our breaches, and perfectly restore our 
peace, not only in this, but in (almost) all other 
questions and strifes. Let us hear, of so many as 
might be alledged. Dr. M. Luther and Mr. J. Calvin. 
— M. Luther complains, ' the word Trinity sounds 
oddly: it were better to call Almighty God, God, 
than Trinity.' Postil. Major Dominic. — ^Mr. Calvin 
is yet less pleased with these kind of terms ; he says, 
*I like not this prayer, O Holy, Blessed, and Glorious 
Trinity, It savours of barbarity ; — ^the word Trinity 
is barbarous, insipid, profane, an human invention, 
grounded on no testimony of God's word, the Popish 
God, unknown to the Prophets and Apostles.' Ad- 
mon. i., ad Polon."f 

Soon after the issuing of the Oxford Decree, which 
condemned the doctrine advanced by Mr. Bingham, 
in his Discourse before the University, that Decree 

* A Discourse concerning the Nominal and Real Trinitarians, p. 18. 
t Ibid. p. 40. 


appeared in the weekly newspapers, with a Post- 
script, in which it was stated, that the doctrine thus 
censured was that, which Dr. Sherlock had so perti- 
naciously defended. The Doctor, in his own de- 
fence, published "A Modest Examination of the 
Authorities and Reasons of the late Decree of the 
Vice-chancellor, and some Heads of Colleges and 
Halls, concerning the Heresy of three distinct infi- 
nite Minds in the Holy and Ever-blessed Trinity." 
In this " Examination," which made its appearance 
very early in the year 1696, the author reiterates, 
with confidence, his former assertions ; contending, 
that what the Oxford Heads have condemned, as 
heretical and impious, is the very Catholic Faith, 
and that their Decree, or Declaration, censures the 
Nicene Faith, and the Faith of the Church of En- 
gland, as heresy, and exposes both to the scorn and 
triumph of the Socinians.* Nay, he adds, that 
** three divine persons who are not three distinct 
minds and substances, is not greater heresy, than 
'tis nonsense, "f 

This vindication of himself, and his favourite doc- 
trine, satisfied no one ; and to many it gave great 
offence. Some of Dr. Sherlock's most zealous ad- 
versaries hesitated not to express their opinion, that 
his book, in which he had subverted, as far as lay 
in his power, the primary article of the Christian 
Faith, afforded ample ground for summoning a con- 
vocation. But the Doctor persisted in saying, that 
he was sure he was in the right. J 

* A Modest Examination, &c. p. 46. 

t An Account of Mr. Firmin*s Religion, pp. 55, 56. 

X Ibid. pp. 56, 57. 


The " Modest Examination " called forth several 
replies. One was entitled, "An Answer to Dr. 
Sherlock's Examination of the Oxford Decree ; Lon- 
don, 1696 : " another, " Remarks upon a Book lately 
published by Dr. William Sherlock, Dean of St 
Paul's, &c., intituled, ' A Modest Examination of 
the Oxford Decree, &c. ;' Oxford, 1696:" and a 
third, " Decreti Oxoniensis Vindicatio in Tribus ad 
Modestum ejusdem Examinatorem, Modestioribos 
Epistolis, a Theologo Transmarine: excusa Anno 
Domini 1696." All these replies were published 
anonymously, and in the usual size, which was small 
quarto. The second was attributed to Dr. Jonathan 
Edwards, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, who 
afterwards printed, with his name, " A Preservative 
against Socinianism," which is almost as notorious 
for its violence and scurrility, as the attacks of his 
namesake, John Edwards, upon the author of " The 
Reasonableness of Christianity." The last of the 
above-mentioned replies to Dr. Sherlock, written in 
Latin, is dated " Uni-trino-poli, 13 cal. Mart. 1696." 
There were doubtless others, of which no record has 
been preserved ; for the question excited as much 
discussion among Churchmen in those days, as 
Tractarianism has done in our own. But the con- 
troversy was conducted in such a bitter spirit on 
both sides, that the King at length interposed be- 
tween the contending parties, and issued " Direc- 
tions to the Archbishops and Bishops, for the pre- 
serving of Unity in the Church, and the Support of 
the Christian Faith concerning the Holy Trinity."* 

• Biog. Brit. Art, Sheblock. Walchii Bibl. Theol SeL Tom. II. 
p. 973. 


These "Directions" were drawn up by Dr. Tenni- 
son, who then presided over the Province of Can- 
terbury, and were dated Feb. 3rd, 1695 [for 1696].* 
They ordered, "That no Preacher whatsoever, in 
his sermon or lecture, should presume to deliver any 
other doctrine concerning the Blessed Trinity, than 
what is contained in the Holy Scriptures, and is 
agreeable to the three Creeds, and the thirty-nine 
Articles of Religion : " and " That in the explication 
of this doctrine, they should carefully avoid all new 
terms, and confine themselves to such ways of exph- 
cation as have been commonly used in the Church. ""I- 
The attention of the clergy was particularly directed 
to the fifty-third Canon, which prohibits public 
opposition between Preachers, and bitter invectives 
and scurrilous language against all persons. An 
observance of these rules was also enjoined upon 
all, who wrote on the disputed questions, whether 
Clergymen or laymen. J 

The tone of these injunctions was sufficiently 
peremptory ; and they had the intended effect. The 
public saw no more defences of Tritheism : but after 
the awkward position, in which Dr. Sherlock had 
placed himself, and the bold and confident air, which 
he had assumed, on the promulgation of the Oxford 
Decree, he excited the surprise of some, and the 
disgust of others, by the manner in which he backed 
out of the controversy. He continued, as before, to 
bid defiance to all his opponents, and had not the 

• Touknin'a Hist View of the State of the Protestant Dissenters in 
England, &c.'Chap. ii. Sect ii. p. 183. Biog. Brit. Jrt, Sheblock, 
Note cc. 

t IbtUmin'8 H. V. ubi supra. | Ibid. 


manliness to own, that he had been in the wrong ; 
but in the midst of this senseless bravado, he gave 
lip all the leading points, for which he had before 
contended, and settled down into a good, orthodox 

In 1696, the Rev. H. De Luzancy, B.D., pub- 
lished, in 8vo., a series of four letters, professing to 
have been "written at the request of a Socinian 
gentleman," and containing a review of the Trinita- 
rian Controversy, under the title of " Remarks on 
several late Writings, publish'd in English by the 
Socinians, wherein is shew'd the Insufficiency and 
Weakness of their Answers to the Texts brought 
against them by the Orthodox. London, 1696." 
At the commencement of the Preface, the author 
says, " The design of the following Letters was to 
instruct a private gentleman, who, by reading Soci- 
nian books, had got a mighty prejudice against the 
sacred doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Incama^ 
tion. He desir'd that he might have the liberty to 
communicate my papers to some of his friends of 
that persuasion. But this being liable to many 
inconveniences, it was thought much better at once 
to expose them to public view." In the concluding 
paragraph of the Preface the reader is told, that 
" whatsoever is in these papers is with the humblest 
submission offer'd to the judgment and censure of 
the Church of England." In speaking of the wri- 
ters of the Unitarian Tracts, the author says,* " As 
to their abilities, their greatest enemies must con- 
fess, that they are not ordinary. They are men of 
learning: their stile is correct, exact and florid. 

• Remarks on several late Writings, &c, p. 2. 


They have the misfortune of Origen, of whom an 
ancient said, that ' Ubi bene, nemo melius, ubi- 
male, nemo pejus.' None can do better where they 
are in the right : none worse, where they are wrong. 
— ^I find also that sometimes those fine pens are 
dipped in gall ; that they are not sparing of the 
sharpest invectives ; and that laying aside their fine 
and gentleman-like way of writing, they become 
mortals again, and grow acquainted with all sorts 
of sarcasms." Judging firom the name of the author 
of these " Four Letters," and from the designation 
of " Monsieur De Luzancy," which is usually given 
to him by contemporaneous writers, it would seem 
probable, that he was a French refugee. He de- 
scribes himself, indeed, in the title-page of his book, 
as "Vicar of Doverc.[ourt] and Harwich:" but 
there were, at that time, among the French Protest- 
ants, who had found an asylum from persecution in 
England, several who conformed, and some who 
took episcopal orders, and became beneficed Clergy- 
men of the Church of England. Mr. De Luzancy, 
like many others, regarded the controversy between 
the Unitarians and " the Orthodox " as at an end ; 
but as many shots, which tell effectively against the 
enemy, are often fired at the close of an engagement, 
so it happened in this case. About the time that 
Mr. De Luzancy's " Remarks " appeared, the public 
were favoured with a tract from the pen of a Uni- 
tarian writer, entitled, " The Judgment of a disin- 
terested Person concerning the Controversy about 
the Blessed Trinity, depending between Dr. South 
and Dr. Sherlock :" 4to.* It contained a fair and 

• NeUon*8 Life of Bull, Sect. Ixi. p. 341. 


candid statement of the arguments in defence of the 
Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Godhead of the 
Saviour, which had been brought forward, by learned 
and approved writers, in different ages of the Chris- 
tian Church, and especially of those, which had been 
sanctioned by the decisions of General Councils. 
The author distinctly proved, by a close and con- 
nected chain of reasoning, that three infinite spi- 
ritual Substances, or three eternal and all-perfect 
Beings, Minds or Spirits, must be regarded, by all 
who understand the use of language, as three Gods; 
and as Dr. Sherlock and Mr. Bingham had asserted, 
and contended for the existence of three such Sub- 
stances, Beings, Minds or Spirits, he argued, that 
the framers of the Oxford Decree acted rightly, in 
censuring this doctrine, as Tritheism. But he treated 
Dr. Sherlock with respect, and gave him credit for 
being actuated by a sincere desire of supporting 
what he conceived to be the truth. The unpardon- 
able offence, however, had been committed, of ques- 
tioning the oracular authority of the Dean of St. 
Paul's; and whatever provocations that learned 
dignitary might put up with from a brother Trini- 
tarian, his proud spirit could not brook the idea of 
being convicted of mistake by a Socinian, much less 
of being excused on the score of ignorance of a sub- 
ject, upon which he had volunteered to instruct 
others. In a very short time, therefore, he sent 
forth an angry reply, in a work, entitled, "The 
Distinction between Real and Nominal Trinitarians 
examined, in Answer to a Socinian Pamphlet. 
1696," 4to. 
The Socinian pamphleteer, as the reader will be 


prepared to expect, from what has heen already 
said, is not treated with much civility. His com- 
petency to act the part of umpire, between two such 
renowned champions as Dr. South and Dr. Sherlock, 
is rudely questioned; and he is attacked, with a 
degree of virulence, which could hardly have been 
surpassed, if he had aimed a deadly blow at the ten- 
derest part of the Dean's reputation. But notwith- 
standing the bad spirit which the book evinces, and 
the unscrupulous manner in which its author attacks 
the reasons advanced by his Socinian censor, it is 
in this very book, that we catch the first glimpses of 
a return to a sounder state of mind. It is here that 
we discover the earliest traces of a disposition to 
re-consider, and modify the strong assertions, con- 
tained in his former controversial writings. 

The Dean admits, that the phrases, " three Minds," 
" three Spirits," and " three Substances," ought to 
be used very cautiously, and not without great 
necessity ; and that they are liable to a very here- 
tical sense.* He says, that Father, Son and Spirit 
are t6 aM irpay/ia, one and the same substance, "j* In 
an earlier stage of the controversy, however, he had 
peremptorily denied this ; and even in his " Modest 
Examination," which was scarcely dry from the 
press, he had not scrupled to designate it both 
" heresy " and " nonsense." 

He says, again, " The Socinians will grant that 
one Divinity is but one God : and the reason why 
they assert that one God is but one Person^ is, be- 

• The Distinction between Real and Nominal Trinitarians, pp. 6 
and 14. 
t P. 36. 


cause they think it impossihle the same undivided 
Divinity should subsist distinctly in three Persons. 
But then, before they had charged the &ith of tiie 
Trinity with Tritheism, they should have remem- 
bered, that the Persons of the Trinity are not three 
stick Persons as their one Person is, whom they call 
one God: and therefore, tho' three such Persons, 
three such Minds, Spirits and Substances, as their 
one Person and one Spirit is, (who is the whole 
Divinity confined to one single Person,) would in- 
deed be three Gods ; yet three such Persons as the 
Catholic Church owns, who axe all the same one 
Substance^ are not three Gods."* Had Dr. Sherlock 
written thus in the first instance, he would not have 
exposed himself to the severe and biting sarcasms 
of Dr. South; and would have escaped the well- 
merited castigation, which he received at the hands 
of his Unitarian opponents. 

The contest between these two angry polemics 
was now virtually at an end ; for Dr. Sherlock had 
conceded the main pomt in dispute. 

During the heat of the battle. Dr. Thomas 
Burnet, Master of the Charter-House, published 
his " ArchsBologia Philosophica, " in which he im- 
pugned the divine authority of the Old Testament. 
This work gave great offence to the orthodox clergy, 
and led to the author's removal from the office of 
Clerk of the Royal Closet, to which he had been 
appointed through the interest of Archbishop Til- 
lotson.-j- This incident, together with the dispute 
between Dean Sherlock and Prebendary South, fur- 

• Account of Mr. Firmin's Religion, p. 61. 
t Biog. Brit. Art, BuRNET (Thomas). 


nished materials for the following humorous ballad, 
composed at the time by one Mr. Pittis, and entitled, 

(To the Tune of " A Soldier and a Sailor.") 

A Dean and Prebendary — Had once a new vagary ; 

And were at doubtful strife, Sir, — ^Who led the better life. Sir, 

And was the better man. 
The Dean, he said, that truly — Since Bluff was so unruly, 
He*d prove it to his face. Sir, — That he had the most grace, Sir, 

And so the fight began. 

When Pbeb. replied, like thunder, — And roar'd out 'twas no wonder. 
Since Gods the Dean had three. Sir, — And more by two than he. Sir, 

For he had got but one. 
NoWy while these two were raging, — And in dispute engaging, 
The Master of the Chabtee — Said both had caught a tartar. 

For Gods, Sir, there were none : — 

That all the boc^ of Moses — Were nothing but supposes ; 
That he deserved rebuke, Sir, — Who wrote the Pentateuch, Sir ; 

Twas nothing but a sham. 
That as for Father Adam, — With Mrs. Eve, his madam. 
And what the serpent spoke. Sir, — Twas nothing but a joke. Sir, 

And well-invented flam. 

Thus in the Battle Royal, — As none could take denial. 

The dame for which they strove. Sir,— Could neither of them love. Sir, 

Since all had giv'n ofience. 
She therefore, slyly waiting, — Left all three fools a prating ; 
And being in a fright. Sir,— Religion took her flight, Sir, 

And ne'er was heard of since. 

The popularity of this jeu d'esprit was very great. 
Besides being translated into several modem lan- 
guages, it was honoured with a poetical version into 
Latin by one of the wits of Cambridge, and its 
author received presents from several of the nobility 
and gentry. Its chief claim to attention was founded 
in the ludicrous associations which it awakened, at 
the expense of certain learned and grave Divines. 


This was its object, and in the attainment of that 
object, it must be confessed, the author was emi- 
nently successful. Others, however, were disposed 
to treat the heresy of Dean Sherlock more seriously; 
and would have rejoiced to see him coerced, and 
silenced, by the strong hand of the civil power. A 
broad hint to this effect was given in "A Short 
History of Valentine Gentilis the Tritheist, tried, 
condemned, and put to Death by the Protestant 
Reformed City and Church of Bern in Switzerland, 
for asserting the Three Divine Persons of the Tri- 
nity to be \_Three Distinct^ Eternal Spirits, &c.]. 
Wrote in Latin, by Benedict Aretius, a Divine of 
that Church ; and now translated into English for 
the Use of Dr. Sherlock : humbly tendered to the 
Consideration of the Arch-bishops and Bishops of 
this Church and Eongdom. London, 1696," 12mo. 
Subjoined to the translation is a copy of the Oxford 
Decree of Nov. 25th, 1695, respecting the sermon 
preached by the Rev. J. Bingham, on the Feast of 
St. Simon and St. Jude ; and the doctrine contained 
in this sermon, and that for which Gentilis suffered 
death, the translator pronounces to be "in sense 
perfectly the same." 

The controversy was now beginning to produce 
its natural effect upon the public mind ; and fears 
were entertained in some quarters, lest the doctrine 
of the Trinity should fall into disrepute among the 
lower orders, and the Churches and Meeting-houses 
throughout the kingdom should be generally in- 
fected by the pestilent heresy of Socinianism. Stre- 
nuous efforts were made, therefore, to prevent it 
from spreading any further ; but opinions differed, 


as to the most effectual means of checking the pro- 
gress of the contagion. Some thought that the 
press was the only legitimate instrument, which 
could be employed for this purpose. Others were 
of opinion, that a vigilant enforcement of the existing 
laws would be sufficient to check the growing evil. 
A few of the more bigoted, who are generally the 
most clamorous, and who sometimes contrive to 
bring about, by means of agitation, that which they 
would in vain have attempted to accomplish by 
argument and persuasion, contended that the object 
in view could not be attained, except through the 
medium of some new penal enactment. 

But the fears, which had been excited, respecting 
the issue of this controversy, as regards the main 
body of Churchmen and Dissenters, proved ground- 
less. The storm, indeed, had raged with great 
violence, but, like many others both before and 
since, it left the fabric of the Establishment un- 
touched ; and the mass of the laity stiU continued 
to frequent their respective places of worship, whe- 
ther in or out of the Church, as though nothing 
had happened to throw a shade of doubt over the 
correctness of their creed. A leaven, however, was 
introduced into the religious society of England, 
which soon affected the mass ; and a change came 
over some of the more eminent Divines of the Church 
of England, and the Presbyterian Dissenters, the 
effects of which extended through the whole of the 
eighteenth century. To this may, in a great mea^ 
sure, be attributed the controversies, which subse- 
quently arose between the Arians and Trinitarians, 
in the bosom of the Church; and the enlarged spirit 

VOL. I. 2 E 


of free inquiry among the clergy, which the publi- 
cation of Dr. Samuel Clarke's " Scripture Doctrine 
of the Trinity," in 1712, contributed not a little to 
extend. To the same cause we may also trace the 
increasing opposition of a large section of the Pres- 
byterian body to creeds, and doctrinal tests of all 
kinds, which shewed itself, in an unmistakeable 
manner, in the Exeter and Salters'-Hall controver- 
sies, about seven years later. " The principle thus 
maintained by the Presbyterians of England/* says 
the learned author of ^^ Historical Illustrations and 
Proofs of the Appellants' Case" in the celebrated 
Lady Hewley Suit,* " was not a singular principle ; 
nor that of a few heated, extravagant, uninformed, 
and thoughtless, or even sober and speculative but 
peculiar persons. It was a grave and long consi- 
dered principle, which was adopted by the whole 
body, and on reflection and deliberation, and which 
they held conjointly with a large body of members 
of the Church of England, both then and in the 
subsequent generations." 

Upon the views of Dr. Sherlock, as we have 
already seen, the controversy between himself and 
Dr. South had a marked effect ; but he never could 
forgive the Unitarians, for the part which they had 
taken in that controversy, and the searching inves- 
tigations to which they had subjected his produc- 
tions, as they severally made their appearance. In 
1697, he published a Sermon on " The Danger of 
corrupting Faith by Philosophy," in which he in- 

• In the House of Lords. Between Samuel Shore and others. Ap- 
pellants ; and the Attorney-General on the relation of Thomas Wilson 
and others, Respondents. London, 1837, Fol. p. 41, 


veighed, with much bitterness, against the Unita- 
rians, whose heresy, he contended, like all other 
heresies, had its " rise and strength from philosophy 
and reason." Against these he declaimed in much 
the same strain as an over-zealous Catholic might 
be expected to do, against those, who reject the doc- 
trine of Transubstantiation. His Sermon had not 
been long before the public, when it was attacked 
by one of Mr. Firmin's friends, in some " Remarks," 
entitled, " The Doctrine of the Catholick Church, 
and of the Church of England, concerning the 
Blessed Trinity, explained and asserted, against the 
dangerous Heterodoxes, in a Sermon by Dr. Wil- 
liam Sherlock, before my Lord Mayor and the Court 
of Aldermen. London, 1697," 4to. The author, 
after a few suitable remarks, by way of introduction, 
gives an abstract, or summary of this Sermon, the 
doctrines which it sets forth, and the reasonings by 
which those doctrines are defended. He proves, 
that neither the Scriptures themselves, nor anything 
else, which is communicated to us through the me- 
dium of spoken or written language, can be properly 
understood, without the aid of philosophy and rea^ 
son ; and that reason^ which is nothing but common 
sense, and philosophy^ which is only another name 
for experimental knowledge, are necessary to enable 
us to judge when a book speaks figuratively and 
popularly, and when strictly, grammatically and 

la reply to this anonymous author, Dr. Sherlock 
felt himself called upon to publish a " Vindication" 
of his " Sermon," in which he complained, that he 
had been misrepresented ; and stated, that it was 

2e 2 


not his intention to speak against philosophy and 
reason, but only against what " some men call phi- 
losophy and reason," and against " vain pretences 
to reason and philosophy."* But in this " Vindi- 
cation " he utterly failed to prove, that the author 
of the " Remarks " had misunderstood, or misrepre- 
sented the purport of his Sermon, the title of which 
was, " The Danger of corrupting Religion by Phi- 
losophy," — not by pretences to Philosophy. It is 
much more to our present purpose, however, to 
shew what modification the views of Dr. Sherlock 
had undergone, on the main subject of the contro- 
versy; and on this point there can be no doubt. 
He disowns the expression "three infinite Minds 
and Spirits," as inappropriate, because capable of 
being interpreted heretically ; and admits, that such 
an expression ought not to be used in an absolute, 
but only in a qualified and restricted sense.-|" Yet 
who does not see, that this refinement was an after- 
thought, forced upon him by his Unitarian oppo- 
nents ? J 

The Doctor, however, could not rest satisfied, 
without adding " more last words." This he did, 
in his " Present State of the Socinian Controversy," 
which is not only a much larger work than either 
of his previous apologetical, or explanatory ones, but 
more express and direct against the heresy of " three 
infinite, eternal Minds, Spirits, Beings or Sub- 
stances." It is also written in a much calmer, and 
more subdued tone. The author of " An Account 
of Mr. Firmin's Religion " placed before his readers 

* Vindication, &c. p. 5. f Sermon, p. 3. 

t An Account of Mr. Finnin's Religion, pp. 63—68. 


a brief view of the doctrine of this remarkable book, 
under distinct heads ; that every one might see how 
entirely Dr. Sherlock had changed his opinions, 
after the censure passed upon them by the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, and the refutation which they had 
experienced at the hands of the Unitarians. 

"Let us put together," says he,* "this whole 
reformed doctrine, about the divine Persons. They 
are not distinct Beings, Natures, Substances, Minds 
or Spirits; but only personal properties, or distinct 
relations in the same singular nature. Would you 
know the mystery more particularly, what you are 
to understand by personal properties, and distinct 
relations, in the same singular nature, or essence ? 
The Doctor will not be difficult, or reserved in 
the matter ; he answers. The Persons, personal pro- 
perties, or distinct relations, are the divine essence 
(or substance) unbegotten, and communicated by 
generation and procession; that is, begotten and 
proceeding. Do you except against it, or make 
doubt, that relations, personal properties, unbegot- 
ten, begotten and proceeding, are properly called 
Persons^ or may have the names of Father, Son, and 
Spirit? He will deliver you from your scruples: 
he wisely minds you, that we must of necessity use 
such words as we have; and regulate or qualifie 
their sense, as well as we can. In two words, he 
saith : The di\ine Persons are so called, because we 
must use such words as we have ; and because they 
have same likeness to Persons of the created nature : 
but in truth they are only personal properties, or 
distinct relations, of the same singular nature, 

• An Account of Mr, Firmin*8 Religion, pp. 72—74. 


namely, of the Divinity. Or if you had rather, they 
are the divine essence, or Divinity, considered as un- 
begotten, begotten and proceeding. This is a true 
and exact abridgment of his large book. * * ♦ In 
eight years time, this fierce opposer of the Unita* 
rians has (with much to do) learned, that the Trinity 
is not three Minds, Spirits or Substances, but three 
internal relations, three personal properties of the 
Divinity : in eight more, it may be, he will under- 
stand, that those are good Catholics, and orthodox 
Christians, who reject no other Trinity but of dis- 
tinct Substances, Spirits or Minds." 

Mr. Firmin's constitution, which had been much 
weakened by his active exertions in the cause of 
suffering humanity, at length failed him ; and on 
the 20th of December, 1697, he died, after a short 
illness. By his death, the Unitarian cause lost its 
main spring of action. He is generally supposed 
to have prepared, and set in motion the machinery, 
by which the three Volumes of Tracts were pro- 
duced, of which so copious an account has been 
given in this Introduction ; and it was probably at 
his expense, that they were published in a collective 
form. A fourth Volume appeared some years after 
his death ; but it does not exhibit, in its typography, 
or general character, the same unity of purpose as 
the three preceding ones. The plan of the present 
work, however, would be incomplete, without some 
notice of its contents ; and its great rarity, in com- 
parison with the three preceding Volumes, renders 
it desirable, that this notice should be more minute 
in its details, than might otherwise have been 
deemed necessary. The general title prefixed to it 


is, " A Fourth Collection of Tracts, relating to the 
Doctrine of the Trinity, &c., the Titles whereof are 
in the next Leaf." It is without date ; there is no 
printer's or publisher's name ; nor is the place of 
publication specified. In pages iii and iv a Table of 
Contents is given, of which the following is an exact 

" The Titles of the several Tracts contain'd in 
this Volume. 

" The Divine Unity once more asserted ; or some 
Considerations tending to prove, that God is but 
one single Being, &c. In 24 pages. 

" Reformation in worshipping of God required, 
according to the Means afforded of a clearer Know- 
ledg of the Divine Will. In 8 pages. 

" Flatonism Unveil'd, or an Essay concerning the 
Notions and Opinions of Plato, and some antient 
and modem Divines his Followers; in relation to 
the Logos, or Word in particular, and the Doctrine 
of the Trinity in general. In two Parts. 

In 139 pages. 

" An Apology for the Parliament, representing 
to Mr. J. Gailhard some Eeasons, why they did not 
enact Sanguinary Laws, &c. In 43 pages. 

" Remarks on Dr. Sherlock's Sermon, of the 
Danger of corrupting the Faith by Philosophy. 

In 29 pages. 

" Mr. Emlin's Case, in relation to the Differences 
between him and some Dissenting Ministers of 
Dublin. In 4 pages. 

" Two Treatises concerning the Trinity, &c. I. 
An himible Enquiry into the Scripture Account of 
Jesus Christ ; or a short Argument concerning his 


Deity and Glory, according to the Gospel. In 22 
pages. — II. An Answer thereunto, or a Resolution 
of the Objections against the Doctrine of the Holy 
Trinity. In 27 pages. 

" A sober Expostulation with the Gentlemen of 
Mr. Emlin's Juries at Dublin. In 8 pages. 

" The Excellency of Eeason demonstrated, in 
some short Remarks on Mr. Young's two Discourses, 
intituled, The Wisdom of Believing. In 11 pages. 

" The ExceUency of Human Understanding, an 
Argument that the regular Use of Reason is not 
contrary to the Veneration due to Holy Scripture, 
&c. In answer to the Censure of the Remarks on 
Mr. Young's two Discourses. In 25 pages. 

" The Scripturalists Christian Condescension con- 
sidered. In 8 pag."* 

It has been said, that title-pages, and tables of 
contents, were printed, and prefixed to two other 
Collections of Tracts, so as to form a fifth and a sixth 
Volume; but as no copy of these has ever fallen 
under the notice of the present writer, or of any 
friends with whom he has conversed upon the sub- 
ject, it is presumed, either that the statement has 
no foundation in truth, or that the volumes referred 
to are unique, and were not published in the proper 
sense of that term, but prepared at the individual 
cost of the parties, by whom they were collected 

• The copy of the " Fourth Collection of Tracts," from which the 
above description is taken, was formerly in the possession of the Rev. 
Dr. Toulmin. (See Mon. R«p. Vol. VIII. pp. 445—447.) It is now 
the property of the Rev. John Kentish, and for the loan of it, as well 
as for other valuable aid of a similar kind, derived, at different times, 
from Mr. Rentish*s library, the author begs to tender his best thanks. 


and arranged. At the same time, it is well known 
to those, who are conversant with this species of 
literature, that the number of tracts published by 
Unitarians, and having a connexion more or less 
remote with the controversy between Sherlock and 
South, was sufficient to have filled, not one or two 
only, but several Volumes, in addition to those of 
which an account has already been given.* 

With the Volume containing the " Fourth Col- 
lection of Tracts," are bound up several other de- 
tached pieces, which were published, from time to 
time, at the close of the seventeenth, and the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century. These have no 
general title-page, to connect them with the four 
preceding Volumes. The earliest date, (1690,) is 
prefixed to the eighteenth of these tracts, entitled, 
"The Naked Gospel:" the latest, (1708,) occurs in 
the title-page of the thirteenth tract, which contains 
"An Examination of Mr. Leslie's Last Dialogue, 
relating to the Satisfaction of Jesus Christ; toge- 
ther with some Remarks on Dr. Stillingfleet's ' True 
Eeasons of Christ's Sufferings.' London." But 
there is one tract, possessing great interest, in con- 
nexion with the subject of this Introduction, which 
did not find its way into the volume now under 
consideration. It was entitled, " The Grounds and 
Occasions of the Controversy concerning the Unity 
of God, &c., the Methods by which it has been 
managed, and the Means to compose it : by a Divine 
of the Church of England. London, 1698." This 
tract is a quarto, consisting of 53 pages; and as it 

* For further particulars respecting these tracts, the reader may con- 
sult Appendix, No. xxiii. 


is seldom met with, an abstract of its contents may 
not prove unacceptable to the reader. 

The author proposes to consider, ^^Jlrst^ what has 
raised the disputes at present agitated among us: 
secondly J what has enflamed them to that dangerous 
excess, which in time 'tis feared may disturb the 
public quiet: thirdly, what is the proper way to 
remedy the mischie& which have happened, and 
prevent further." 

He refers the disputes in question to a variety of 
causes; and, as far as the Unitarians themselves 
are concerned, thinks it probable, that they have 
been induced to engage in them, out of an aversion 
from taking things upon trust, an honest desire to 
be serviceable to the Church, and a zeal to defend 
its doctrines against the heathenish interpretations 
of some eminent, unwary Tritheists. Of another 
division of the disputants he says, that they are all 
in open profession with the Church of England, 
and most of them bona-fide members of that Church, 
who have opposed the Unitarians, without properly 
imderstanding them ; and most of whom differ from 
the Unitarians, only in the use of certain scholastic 
terms and phrases. The opponents of the Unita- 
rians he comprises under the general distinction of 
Nominalists and Eealists ; the former of whom, he 
admits, properly belong to the Church, while he 
hesitates not to call the latter mere Heathens, and 
Polytheists. Both these classes of professed Trini- 
tarians, as he infers fi-om their writings, were in- 
duced to engage in the controversy by a profound 
regard for authority, by a feeling of dislike to all 
innovations in religion, and by a sincere desire to 


vindicate the Christian religion, the main founda^ 
tion of which they ignorantly thought that the 
Unitarians were undermining, and labouring to 
subvert. In order to remove the suspicions, which 
some of the Nominalists entertained of the Unita- 
rians, he proposes to consider,* " first, what manner 
of persons those are who of late have been distin- 
guished by the name of Unitarian; secondly, what 
is the tendency of their doctrines." Under the for- 
mer of these heads he shews, that the opinions 
charged upon the Unitarians may be traced up to 
the times, closely bordering upon the apostolic age, 
and that a great majority of Christian professors 
who held them were accounted orthodox. They 
deemed it a reproach, however, to be called, Ebion^ 
ites^ Aloffians, Avians^ Photinians^ or indeed any- 
thing but Christians ; and were willing to be tried 
by the Apostles' Creed, and the Holy Scriptures. 
The &vourite term of reproach, when the author 
wrote, was Socinian: but though the Unitarians 
thought honourably of Socinus, they did not espouse 
his whole scheme, or any part of it, merely because 
it was his. In alluding to those, who, in and near 
his own tune, were known by the name of ZJntte- 
rians^ our author particularly mentions John Biddle, 
Mr. Cooper, John Knowles, Mr. Gilbert Clerke, 
Mr. Noual, and Mr. Thomas Firmin, and of each 
of these excellent men he proceeds to give some 
account.^ He then replies to the objection, that 
they withdrew from the communion of the Church 

• The Grounds and Occasions of the Controversy concerning the 
Unity of God, &c. p. 13. 

t Ibid. pp. 16—21. 


of England, and formed separate religious assem- 
blies, so as to invalidate, and even destroy . their 
claim to be regarded as orthodox Churchmen. He 
says, that the deceased Unitarians, whose names he 
had mentioned, probably separated, as &r as they 
did separate, (on which subject he professes himself 
not to be clearly informed,) in order that they might 
not appear to profess a Tritheistic Trinity; that 
there may be a conscientious separation from the 
Church, by men who agree with her in doctrinal 
points, as in the case of the Presbyterians, Inde- 
pendents and Anabaptists ; and that the Unitarians, 
who were living at the time in which he wrote, 
being at length satisfied, after a fuU investigation 
of the subject, that the majority of Church theolo- 
gians meant, by the scholastic terms which they 
retained, only a nominal Trinity, and as they had 
publicly professed their agreement with the Church 
of England, on this and other disputed articles, they 
were therefore to be regarded as sound and ortho- 
dox members of that Church.* Having replied to 
two other objections, charging the earlier publicap 
tions of the English Unitarians with containing 
something very much like formal opposition to the 
Articles of the Church, and blaming them for hav- 
ing first excited such a controversy in the Church, 
and then representing it as little more than a mere 
dispute about words, — ^he goes on to shew, that the 
Unitarians defend their doctrines from the impu- 
tation of mischievous consequences, or tendencies, 
first, by ingenuously, carefully and largely explain- 
ing their views respecting those articles, which they 

• Pp. 21, 22 


were charged with denying, or expounding amiss ; 
and secondly, by endeavouring to make it appear, 
that they have no particular private opinions about 
matters commonly held necessary to salvation, dif- 
ferent from those of the Church of England. Under 
the latter of these two heads, the writer expresses 
himself as follows.* " I do profess that I much fear 
the Unitarians may have private opinions about 
articles commonly held necessary to salvation, differ- 
ent from the opinions of the compilers of the 39 
Articles, and from the grammatical literal sense of 
those Articles ; for through them, as also through 
our Homilies, there runs a vein of that scheme, 
which at this day is called Calvinism. But the 
grammatical literal sense of our Articles and Homi- 
lies are fall'n into the hands of governing Bishops, 
Deans and Doctors, and governed inferiour Priests 
and Deacons ; of whom a vast majority [as appears 
by their prints and daily sermons] expound them 
very widely different from the grammatical literal 
sense, intended by the first compilers. Words and 
phrases have nothing in their own nature, which 
can fix them to this or that particular sense. It is 
common consent and way of speaking which appro- 
priates them, and therefore our Articles and Homi- 
lies, which once held forth some of the Predestina- 
rian rigors for the doctrine of the Church, are not 
to be suppos'd to teach the same still, now that the 
consent of our Church runs so strongly another 
way. Possibly the Unitarians have not Cranmer, 
Latimer and Ridley on their side, in points now 
controverted ; but in them, and all other necessary 

• Pp. 29, 30. 



articles, they have the Reverend Bishops of Wor- 
cester and Sarum, Dr. South, and Mr. Edwards with 
them. Indeed, if those Bishops and Doctors should 
neither be the Church, nor conjoin'd with enough 
to make a majority, which must be the Church, the 
Lord have mercy upon the Unitarians ; for who is 
it that indulges his brother a due liberty of con- 
science, but when he needs it himself? But the 
Bishops and Doctors aforesaid being conjoin'd with 
an imcontestable majority, the Unitarians have no- 
thing more to do, to prove that they have no parti- 
cular private opinions about matters commonly held 
necessary to salvation, but to shew their agreement 
with those Bishops and Doctors ; or, which is much 
the same thing, the agreement of those Bishops and 
Doctors with them. Now this has been amply and 
feirly done by an Unitarian, I know not whom, he 
being a perfect stranger to me ; but it matters not 
much who he is, whether a Transmarine, or Cisma- 
rine Divine, or no Divine at all."* 

When our author has concluded his remarks 
respecting the causes of the Unitarian controversy, 
he proceeds, in the second place, to consider what 
has enflamed the existing disputes to that dangerous 
excess, which in time may disturb the public peace. 
Here he lays it down as an evident, and generally 
acknowledged truth, " that it is always a vice, more 
or less artificially conceal'd, which prompts religious 

• The publication here alluded to is one, bearing the following title. 
" The Agreement of the Unitarians with the Catholick Church ; being 
also a full Answer to the Infamations of Mr. Edwards, and the needless 
Exceptions of my Lords the Bishops of Chichester, Worcester and 
Sarum, and of Monsieur Luzancy Printed in the year MDCXCVTI." 


disputants to fight the Lord's battles with angry 
noise, and fiery words, and flaming censures, that 
thunder and lightning of theirs, which does more 
mischief than all the artillery of Nature." He then 
inquires, " Whether the Unitarians, or their adver- 
saries, or both, have manag'd their disputes with 
any of these unjust, and unbeseeming methods]" 
He admits, that the Unitarians have, in some cases, 
resorted to ridicule, in their mode of conducting the 
controversy, and particularly in their attacks upon 
the opinions of the Realists ; but he denies that the 
two tracts, entitled, " Considerations of the Expli- 
cations," &c., are open to the charge of transgressing 
the fair rules of religious controversy. On the con- 
trary, he regards these tracts as " models of elegant, 
proper and decent writing in the controversial 
way."* There are two things, however, in which 
he says, that he cannot excuse the Unitarians. 
" The first is a piece of rashness and indiscretion ; 
the second, a trespass against a distinguishing pre- 
cept of the Christian religion." Under the former 
of these heads, he blames them for ridiculing the 
scholastic and unscriptural terms of the Nominalists, 
to which, for the sake of peace, they nevertheless 
acknowledged that they could submit. He ob- 
serves, that they could not expect these terms to be 
laid aside, merely to suit their convenience. " The 
trespass against a distinguishing precept of the 
Christian religion," of which he thinks the Uni- 
tarians to be in some measure guilty, "is, that 
when they have been odiously misrepresented, foully 

* Grounds and Occasions, &c. p. 43. 


calumniated, maliciously exposed, haughtily insult 
ed, rated, revil'd, and censur'd, by this and t'oth^ 
adversary, better skill'd at libelling than Logick, 
they have not taken it with all the composed firm- 
ness of mind, with all the steady patience which the 
commands of the Holy Grospel required, and the 
example of their blessed Master made practicable ; 
but when they have been barbarously us'd, have 
answer'd angrily again. It's true," he continues, 
" the worst returns that they have made, compared 
with what they have suffer'd, may seem perfect 
courtship ; but if they had never been mov'd firom 
an even Christian temper, when all manner of evil 
was spoke against them without just cause, their 
labours would have gain'd a still higher esteem, and 
perhaps have been handed down to late posterity, 
as the most absolute patterns of a dexterous and 
able, pertinent, close, and just management of con- 
troversy."* One exception, however, he makes to 
the general treatment, which the Unitarians re- 
ceived at the hands of their adversaries. Bad as 
this was in many cases, he hesitates not to single 
out Mr. Edwards, as having " distinguished himself 
by peculiar Antichristian excesses ; " and therefore, 
in the chastisement which he inflicts upon this ia- 
corrigible offender against the rules of Christian 
propriety, he does not spare the rod. Upon the 
learning of those Trinitarians, who took part in the 
controversy, he passes a deserved encomium; but 
he remarks, with great truth, that their learning 
was often the means of involving them in " such 
confusion, that tho' you may perceive whom they 

* Grounds and Occasions, &c pp. 45, 46. 


love, and whom they hate, yet you cannot easily 
divine what opinions they are for or against." 

The proper remedy for the evils, which had sprung 
out of the Unitarian controversy, and the means of 
checking those evils, form the third and last head 
of discussion. This subject is treated with an 
abundance of sarcastic humour. The author con- 
cludes, that, if the Unitarians were to be silenced 
by the strong hand of the law, or voluntarily to 
withdraw from the controversy, that controversy 
would be carried on, in the bosom of the Church 
itself, with as much vigour as ever. Dr. Sherlock 
would never forgive Dr. South ; nor Dr. South, Dr. 
Sherlock. The Nominalists would not quit the 
field, till they had run down the Tritheists; and 
the Tritheists, with their last breath, would revile 
the Nominalists, as Sdbellians and Socinians. The 
matter, in short, came to this, — that, if the Church 
would have no war without her pale, she must have 
one within. "Wherefore," says our author, "I 
would advise every one to make living like a good 
Christian his business now, and never be troubled 
at the disputes which are stirring, of which there's 
like to be no end, let the present disputants that 
have the worst on't, by reason of their inferior num- 
bers, be run down, hang'd, or burnt, or not."* 

This curious and interesting tract concludes with 
a recommendation to the Unitarians to discontinue 
the controversy. "I know," says the author,f " they 
are men of conscience, and have, within the bounds 
of moderation, been zealous for the truth, but that 

• P. 52. t P- 53. 

VOL. I. 2 F 


will not suffer, though they are silent: the learned 
and excellent Bishops of Worcester and Sarum, Dr. 
South and others, are able and forward enough to 
defend it against all the heathenish opposition of 
the Tritheistic tribe." 

Before this Introduction is brought to a dose, the 
author will perhaps be pardoned, notwithstanding 
the length to which it has already grown, if he ven- 
tures to call the reader's notice to one of the last 
controversial works, published at the close of the 
seventeenth century, which has been thought by 
many to have given a death-blow to the cause of 
Unitarianism, but which is known, by all well-in- 
formed persons, to have been cried up far beyond 
its real merits. This work was entitled, "The 
Judgment of the Ancient Jewish Church against 
the Unitarians, in the Controversy upon the Holy 
Trinity, and the Divinity of our Blessed Saviour ; 
with a Table of Matters, and a Table of Texts of 
Scripture occasionally explained: by a Divine of 
the Church of England. London, 1699," 8vo. This 
Quixotic attempt to Trinitarianize the Disciples of 
Moses, was the production of the Rev. Peter Allix, 
D.D., whose name is inserted in the title-page of 
the second edition, printed at the Clarendon Press, 
Oxford, in 1821. Its avowed object was to shew, 
that the Unitarians were chargeable with gross 
error, in asserting, that the doctrine of the Trinity 
owed its origin to the school of Theology, of which 
Justin Martyr was the founder ; and to prove that 
the Ancient Jewish Church held essentially the 
same views respecting the Trinity, and the Divinity 
of the Messiah, as those which are entertained by 


orthodox Christians in modem times. If this were 
the proper place for entering upon a consideration 
of the subject, it might be satisfactorily shewn, that 
the work of Dr. Allix abounds in the most palpable 
fallacies, which vitiate the whole of his argument ; 
and more particularly, that he has committed the 
gross and unpardonable blunder, of treating the 
later Targums as of the same authority with the 
earlier ones, and of putting Pseudo-Jonathan upon 
a par with Onkelos.* But as this Introduction does 
not profess to enter on the subject of theological 
controversy, it will be more to our present purpose 
to state, what kind of reception Dr. Allix's labours 
met with among his contemporaries, than to enter 
into a formal refutation of his arguments. 

The work is too well known to require any 
lengthened description. It is divided into twenty- 
seven Chapters, in the first of which the author 
unfolds his design, and enumerates the matters, 
upon which he proposes to treat. In doing this, he 
refers to the Unitarians of his own time, and says, 
" Mr. N., one of their ablest men, having read Justin 
Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, in which Trypho 
says, that he did not believe that the Messias was 
to be other than man, makes use of this passage of 
Trypho to prove, that the doctrines of the Divinity 
of the Messias, and by consequence of the Trinity, 

• The reader, who feels interested in inquiries of this nature, may 
consult two papers in the " Christian Reformer" for 1836, (Vol. III. 
N. S. pp. 445-462. 521—527,) entitled, " The Doctrine of the New 
Testament concerning Jesus Christ illustrated from the Targums of 
Onkelos and Jonathan;" and a series of articles in Dr. F. R. Lees's 
" Truth-Seeker," on the question, " Did the Synagogue ever teach a 



were never acknowledged by the Jews. This he 
does in a book, the title whereof is, The Judgment 
of the Fathers against Dr. BulL" The book here 
referred to is the seventh in the " Third Collection 
of [Unitarian] Tracts," of which some account has 
been given in a former part of this Introduction.^ 
It is written with great ability ; and, what is not a 
little singular, the main position of the author, that 
the Jews in our Saviour's time expected their Mes- 
siah to be nothing more than man, is precisely that 
which now obtains, among the ablest advocates of 
the Trinitarian doctrine. The Rev. W. Wilson, 
B.D., author of " An Illustration of the Method of 
explaining the New Testament by the early Opi- 
nions of Jews and Christians concerning Christ: 
Cambridge, 1797;" pronoimces Dr. Allix's scheme 
visionary. " RittangeUus and Snelneccer," says he, 
" were among the first, if they were not the very 
first, authors of this visionary scheme ; which has 
since received much celebrity firom the ingenious 
pen of AUix."f 

The gentleman alluded to, as one of the " ablest 
men " of the Unitarian party, was the Rev. Stephen 
Nye, a Clergyman of the Church of England, who 
felt it to be his duty to defend himself against the 
attack of Dr. Allix. In the course of his defence, 
he avows his motive for the unceremonious manner 
in which he has treated the Doctor; and as this 
leads him to make some remarks upon the author- 
ship of the Unitarian Tracts, the curious reader 
may be interested to see in what terms this avowal 

• Vide pp. 331—339. 

t Illustrations, &c. Chap. iv. § ii. p. 79. 


is made. " If," says Mr. Nye,* " I have not here 
answered with all the respect and tenderness that 
I would, the Doctor is to thank himself for it, as 
having given a provocation that could not be dis- 
sembled. He has now written two books, one after 
another, professedly against Mr. N., imputing to 
him several books, that were written not by Mr. N., 
but by Mr. S.,f and some others I could name, as has 
been all along known to several gentlemen, and to 
some booksellers ; and at the time that Dr. A. pub- 
lished the Judgment^ it was so commonly known, 
that his forwardness and rashness in libelling and 
delating Mr. N. to the whole nation, and to his 
superiors, as the undoubted author of them, admits 
no excuse. Of so many, eminent for learning 
and dignity, as have written against those books ; 
though without doubt they had heard the cackle of 
report, concerning Mr. N. and other reputed authors 
of Mr. FirmirCs prints, as well as Dr. A. ; yet in 
their answers, none of them charged those books on 
Mr. N., or the other supposed writers, save only this 
stranger; who of a Refugee for religion, was not 
ashamed to turn Informer. He that will take on 
him the infamous character of an Informer^ is ready 
without doubt to go much farther, if circumstances 
and opportunity invite him. Every body knows what 
Name is intended by Mr. N. Should not an advised 
and an honest man have first enquired, whether 

• The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the Manner of our Saviour's 
Diiinity ; as they are asserted to be held in the Catholic Church, and 
the Church of England, &c. ; in several liCtters to a Peer : by Stephen 
Nye, Rector of Hormead. London, 1701, p. 164. 

t Qu. SmaOn-oke f Vide Christian Reformer for May, 1845, p. 290. 


there be not more persons of that name ; that if 
perhaps there be, he might avoid doing wrong to 
innocent persons, by an indefinite, uncertain signi- 
fication, what particular person he meant 1 When 
those books to which Dr. A. points were written, 
there were no fewer than three Mr. N.'s Clergymen, 
all of them beneficed within forty miles of London, 
and two of them acquaintances of Mr. Firmin. The 
Informant therefore should have some way notified, 
which of the Mr. N.'s he intended to accuse, and 
wished to see a public sacrifice. I can tell him, 
there are divers witnesses amongst the Socinians 
themselves, that will at any time assure Dr. A. or 
any other, that neither of the Mr. N.'s, friends of 
Mr. Firmin, were ever in the sentiments of Socinus. 
Though it be true also, that they disapproved, and 
opposed the Tritheism of some modern writers, that 
contended for a Trinity of distinct (infinite) Beings, 
Minds, and Spirits, which might bring on them the 
imputation of Socinianism, with a great number of 
other foolish calumnies, from their adversaries, or 
from the Tritheistic party. — ^But when such an im- 
putation or report was up: I pray how would it 
recommend the books of Dr. A. to tell every body 
(or the whole nation) that they are written against 
Mr. N., more than if he had said, they are written 
against some anonymous pamphlets, that are gotten 
into too much credit and reputation ? — I have heard 
it confidently reported, that Dr. A. himself is author 
of one of Mr. Firmin's principal books : The Defence 
of the Brief History of the Unitarians : and some 
gentlemen of his nation (Refugees also for religion) 
say, Dr. A. was always reputed a Sabellian. I be- 


lieved both these reports, and so did many others : 
he has convinced me by the Judgment^ it was a 
slander, or at best a mistake ; for he is a Tritheist. 
It will be a new warning to me^ and ought to be to 
Am, not to publish flying reports, for certain News ; 
especially to a whole nation, and to the possible 
pi^dice of persons who nev^r wronged me!"* 

That rumours affecting the orthodoxy of Dr. 
Allix should have arisen, and reached the ears of 
Mr. Nye, will not appear at all surprising to any 
one, who is acquainted with the history of those 
times. The French Protestant Church at Canter- 
bury contained many members, who had embraced 
Unitarian sentiments; but they were induced, by 
the fear of excommunication, with which they were 
threatened by the Presbyterian Synod, to make an 
outward profession of conformity to the Church of 
England, and to receive the sacrament in their 
parish Church. Among them were some, whose 
names have been preserved ; as Stephen Du Thoy, 
Claude Rondeau, and Dr. Simon. But some not 
only professed themselves members of the Esta- 
blished Church, by subscribing and taking the oaths, 
but were beneficed by His Grace, the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. Such were the Rev. Jacques Ron- 
deau, and M. Souverain. On the other hand, there 
were those among the French Protestants, who were 
perseveringly active in their attempts to check the 
progress of Unitarianism, by invoking the aid of 
the ecclesiastical tribunals. These zealots, in con- 
junction with some of the episcopal clergy, contrived 

* Biographia Britannica, 2nd £d. Vol. I. p. 161, Art, Allix. 


to render the situation of the above two gentlemen, 
who had taken episcopal orders, a very uneasy one ; 
and ultimately compelled them, through fear of the 
Archbishop's censure, to appear before the Civil 
Magistrates, and, in the capacity of Dissenters, to 
take refuge under the Toleration Act.* 

The attempts to evade the law in this, and in 
other cases, proving successful, loud complaints were 
made, by some of the bigots of the day, that the 
existing statutes were inadequate to accomplish the 
purpose for which they were framed. Repeated 
calls were therefore made upon the government and 
legislature, to pass some more stringent law, which 
should have the effect of silencing the Unitarians, 
by closing the press against them, and inflicting 
summary punishment upon any one, who should, 
either by writing or printing, impugn the doctrine 
of the Trinity. 

One of the most zealous of those, who urged the 
passing of such a law, was a lay gentleman, of the 
name of John Gailhard, who, in the year 1697, 
published an octavo volume of 344 pages, entitled, 
" The Blasphemous Socinian Heresie disproved and 
confuted, wherein the doctrinal and controversial 
Parts of those Points are handled, and the Adver- 
saries' Scripture and School- Arguments answered; 
with Animadversions upon a late Book called, 
* Christianity not Mysterious;' humbly dedicated to 
both Houses of Parliament." The virulent spirit, 
in which this work was written, will be sufficiently 
apparent from the following extract, which is taken 

• Monthly Repository, Vol. V. (1810) p. 241, and Ref. 


from the first page of the author's Preface. " In 
commendation of the Parliament of Scotland, I must 
take notice of the Act which in one of their last 
Sessions was passed there against Blasphemy, where- 
by not only they ratified the Twenty-First of the 
first Session of Charles II., but also enacted farther, 
that whosoever in discourse or writing shall deny, 
quarrel, argue or reason against the Being of a God, 
or any of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, or 
against the authority of the Holy Scripture, or Pro- 
vidence of God in governing the world, shall for ) 
the first time be imprisoned till he hath in publick 
acknowledged the offence : for the second offence, 
imprisoned, and a fine besides ; and for the third, 
death, as obstinate blasphemers. For indeed, Btas^ 
phemjf and Idolatry^ by God's express command, 
ought to be destroyed out of the land." 

That these Acts of the Scottish Parliament were 
not allowed to remain a dead letter, we have a 
melancholy proof, in the case of a young man, of 
the name of Thomas Aikenhead, who was indicted 
under them ; and, a verdict of Guilty being return- 
ed, was sentenced to death, and executed. 

In the "State Trials,"* there is a full account 
of the proceedings against this unfortunate youth, 
taken from the Records of Justiciary in Edinburgh, 
and certain Manuscripts, the property of Lord King. 
These Manuscripts, for the use of which the editor 
of the "State Trials" acknowledges himself indebted 
to His Lordship, appear to have belonged to Mr. 

* A Complete Collection of State Trials from the earliest Period to 
the Year 17S3, in 21 volumes. London, 1816, Vol. XIII. pp. 918— 


Locke. That great man, in a letter to Sir Frandft 
Masham, dated London, Feb. 27th, 1696-7, alludes 
to these two Acts, under which Aikenhead might 
have been indicted. One of them was passed in 
the year 1661,* and consisted of two articles. By 
the former of these articles, railing upon, or cursing 
God, or any of the persons of the Trinity, was made 
punishable by death; and by the latter, denying 
God, or any of the persons of the Trinity, and obsti- 
nately continuing therein, was made subject to the 
same punishment. The other of the two Acts, 
alluded to by Mr. Locke, was passed about two 
years before the execution of Aikenhead, and was 
the 11th of Tweeddale's Session of Parliament 
This, according to Mr. Locke, was obtained by trick 
and surprise. It ratifies the former Act, and adds, 
that "Whether by writing or discourse, to deny, 
impugne, querrell, argue, or reason against the 
Being of God, or any of the persons of the Trinity, 
or the authority of the Scriptures, or a Providence, 
is for the first fault punishable with imprisonment, 
till they retract in sackcloth in the Church ; for the 
second, with imprisonment, and a year's rent till as 
in the first case ; and for the third, they are to die 
as obstinate blasphemers." 

Now it is plain, as Mr. Locke observes, that 
Aikenhead must have died imder the former of these 
two Acts; because it was his first offence, as he 
pleaded in his petition " unto the Rt. Hon. the Lord 
Justice General, Justice Clerk, and remanent Lords 
Commissioners of His Majesty's Justiciary." Be- 
sides, that he retracted, is evident from his speech, 

• Act 24, Pari. 1, Sess. 1, Charles II. 


and his letter to his friends, dated January 8th, 
1697, the day of his execution ; which legally freed 
him from the penalty of death, according to the 
second article of the first Act. But no evidence 
was adduced of his '^ railing upon, and cursing God, 
or any of the persons of the Trinity," except that of 
Mungo Craig, in which he was said to have called 
" the Books of the New Testament ' the hooks of 
the impostor Jesus Christ,'" and to have done it 
^^ in a scorning and jeering manner." Aikenhead, 
in his speech, admitted many of the charges against 
him ; hut denied the truth of Craig's evidence. It 
seems prohahle, too, that this Craig was the person, 
who fiLrst perverted his mind, and gave him the 
books, which led him to speak, and act as he did. 

In the report of the legal proceedings, the pri- 
soner is described as " Thomas Aikenhead, sone of 
the deceast James Aikenhead, chirurgeon, in Edin- 
burgh, prisoner in the Tolbuith thereof." The in- 
dictment was preferred at the instance of Sir James 
Stewart, His Majesty's Advocate, and by special 
order of the Lords of His Majesty's Privy Council. 
It charged the prisoner, among other things, with 
having for more than a twelvemonth past, at differ- 
ent times, made it his business, in several companies, 
to vent his wicked blasphemies against God, and 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, and against the Holy 
Scriptures, and all revealed religion ; and with hav- 
ing rejected the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, as 
not worth any man's refiitation, and having scoffed 
at the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, 
affirming blasphemously, that Thednthropos was as 
great a contradiction as Hircus Cervus^ or QuadrO' 


turn rotundutn. But in his petition to the C!ourt of 
Justiciary, before his trial, although he admits much 
of what was charged against him, he absolutely 
denies, that the expressions, contained in the indict- 
ment, were uttered by him in the terms libelled ; or 
at least, that they were ever spoken by him, as his 
own private opinions, or sentiments. The proceed- 
ings, however, were not stayed. Five of the persons, 
who had been summoned as jurymen, refused to 
attend ; and were fined one hundred marks each. 
But a jury was at length formed, and the depositions 
of the witnesses were produced by His Majesty's 
Advocate. The names and descriptions of the wit- 
nesses, as given in the several depositions, were 
Adam Mitchell^ student of Edinburgh, aged twenty, 
and immarried ; John Neilsone^ writer in Edinburgh, 
aged near twenty, and also unmarried; Patrick 
Midletoune^ student at the College in Edinburgh, 
aged twenty, and unmarried ; and Mungo Craig^ stu- 
dent in Edinburgh, aged twenty-one, and unmar- 
ried. John Potter^ a youth of eighteen, was also 
sworn, but deponed, " nihil novit." 

The trial took place on the 23rd of December, 
1696 ; and the verdict was as follows. 

" The Assyse having elected and chosen George 
Clerk, late baillie, their chancellar; and Adam 
Brown, their clerk, doe unanimously find it proven 
that the pannell, Thomas Aikenhead, has rallied 
against the first persone, and also cursed and railled 
against our blessed Lord the second persone of the 
Holy Trinity, and farder finds the other crymes 
lybelled proven, viz. The denying of the incarna- 
tion of our Saviour, the Holy Trinity, and scoffing 


at the Holy Scriptures, This is subscribed by the 
chancellar and clerk at the appoyntment of the 
above written assysers, at Edinburgh, the 23rd day 
of December, 1696 years. 

" Sic subscribitur^ Geo. Clerk, Chancellar. 

Adam Brown, Clerk." 

After the reading of the verdict, which was re- 
tomed^ by order of the Court, at noon on the day 
following, sentence was pronounced against the pri- 
soner. He was adjudged to be taken to the Gral- 
lowlee, betwixt Leith and Edinburgh, on Friday, 
the 8th of January next ensuing, between two and 
four o'clock in the afternoon, and there to be hanged 
on a gibbet till he was dead, and his body to be 
interr^ at the foot of the said gallows ; in addition 
to which, it was ordered, that all his moveable goods 
and gear should be escheated to the crown. 

The following reflections upon this mockery of 
justice, from the pen of a celebrated legal writer, 
sets the whole case in its true light ; and proves, 
that no conviction could have taJten place, if the 
Court had done its duty. " The Court found the 
railing against, or cursing any of the Trinity, rele- 
vant to infer the pains of death; and the other 
crimes relevant to infer an arbitrary punishment. — 
No counsel appeared for the prisoner ; nor does it 
seem that one word was urged in his behalf during 
the course of the trial. Four or five witnesses were 
examined, one of them a writer in Edinburgh, the 
rest students at the University, lads from 18 to 20 
or 21 years of age. They proved most of the arti- 


cles of the libel, with this addition, that the prisoner 
said, he was confident Christianity would be utterly 
extirpated by the year 1800. There was however 
a material defect in the evidence. The article most 
highly criminal, viz. the railing against Gt)d, and 
cursing our Saviour, was not proved at all, but was 
an inference drawn by the jury from the prisoner's 
cursing Ezra, and saying, that the inventors of the 
scriptural doctrines would be damned, if there be 
such a thing as damnation. — ^The jury unanimously 
found the prisoner guilty of railing against God, 
railing at, and cursing Christ, and of the whole 
other articles of the libel. This verdict the jury, 
even by the Statute, were not warranted to pro- 
nounce. ♦ ♦ ♦ The raiUng against God, and cursing 
Christ, ought to have been fiicts directly proved, 
and not inferences drawn from cursing the inventors 
of scriptural doctrines ; and as for denying any of 
the persons of the Holy Trinity, it was not the 
denial, but obstinately persisting therein, which by 
the Statute subjected the offender to a capital pun- 
ishment. — Besides these defences, had the Court 
been endued with the humanity to appoint counsel 
for the prisoner, it would undoubtedly have been 
pled for him, that these were rash words, drawn 
from him in the heat of controversy, which by no 
means coincided with his serious notions ; and that 
he heartily repented of the warmth which betrayed 
him into expressions so dissonant from his own 
sentiments, and so offensive to the feelings of others. 
Had these defences been offered for him, the jury 
could not, without being guilty of perjury, have 


convicted him of obstinately persisting to deny the 
Trinity, which the Statute required."* 

Mr. L. Anstruther, an eminent Advocate of the 
time, writing to Mr. Robert Cunningham, from 
Aden, January 26th, 1697, (between a fortnight and 
three weeks after the execution,) says, — " We had 
lately an anomaly, and monster of nature I may call 
him, who was execut for cursing and reviling the 
persons of the Trinity ; he was 18 yeers of age, not 
vicious, and extremely studious. Fountionehall and 
I went to him in prison, and I found a work on his 
spirit, and wept that ever he should have maintained 
such tenets, and desired a short repriev, for his 
etemaU state depended upon it ; I plead for him in 
counsel, and brought it to the chan. [Qu. chancel- 
lar's X] vote ; it was told that it could not be granted 
unless the Ministers would interced ; I am not for 
consulting the Church in State affairs ; I doe think 
he would have proven an eminent Christian had he 
lived ; but the Ministers out of a pious, though I 
think ignorant zeal, spok and preached for cutting 

him off."t 

The execution of this unfortunate young man 
could not have taken place many months before 
Mr. Grailhard's work issued from the press ; and the 
author of that work, there can be no doubt, secretly 
exulted in the perpetration of this judicial murder, 
though he prudently abstained from referring to it, 

* Amotf p. 326 ; apud State Trials, ubi supra. The full title of 
Arnof s work is, " A Collection and Abridgment of celebrated Criminal 
Trials in Scotland, from 1536 to 1784, with Historical and Critical Re- 
marks : by Hugo Amot, Esq., Advocate. Edinburgh, 1785,** 4to. See 
also Monthly Repository, Vol. VIH. (1813) pp. 17. 108. 178—180. 

t State Trials, Vol. XHI. pp. 929, 930. 


and contented himself with speaking in terms of 
commendation respecting the law of Scotland, and 
holding it up as a model to English legislators. 

Soon after the prorogation of the English Parlia- 
ment, there appeared from the press a reply to Mr. 
Gailhard's fanatical production. This reply occu- 
pies the fourth place in the " Fourth Collection of 
Tracts," and is entitled, " An Apology for the Par- 
liament, humbly representing to Mr. John Grailhard 
some Reasons why they did not at his Request enact 
Sanguinary Laws against Protestants in their last 
Session ; in two Letters by different Hands. Lon- 
don, 1697," 4to. Mr. Gailhard, it appears, had 
delayed the publication of his volume, till the 
greater part of the public business of Parliament 
was brought to a close, in the hope that the mem- 
bers of both Houses would be able to give their 
undivided attention to his favourite scheme, duriog 
the remainder of the Session. But whether it was, 
that they were anxious, after their discussions upon 
the Capitation and Land Tax, and the Tonnage and 
Excise Duties, to suspend their legislative functions 
for a time ; or whether the Government advised the 
King to prorogue the Parliament, and postpone the 
consideration of the question to the next Session ; — 
the members separated, without passing any penal 
enactment against the professors and publishers of 
Unitarian opinions. 

About this time,* the Dissenters, in an Address 
to the King, entreated and urged His Majesty to 
stop the press against the Unitarians ; and in making 
this request, it is well known, that they had chiefly 

• Lindsey's Hist. View, Chap. v. Sect i. p. 302. 


in view the tracts, which had been written by the 
friends of Mr. Firmin, and circulated under the 
patronage of that gentleman ; and which the Trini- 
tarians, both in and out of the Church, had in vain 
attempted to write down. Nor is it improbable, 
that the interest, which Mr. Firmin possessed in 
high places, had induced the government to waver, 
and, for a time at least, to decline proposing such 
an enactment, as that which had been urged upon 
it by Mr. Gailhard. But whatever may have been 
the cause of the delay, another session was not 
allowed to pass, without measures being taken, to 
secure the object, which Mr. G. and the Dissenters 
had so officiously urged upon the King and Parliar 

On the 17th of February, 1698, (about two 
months after Mr. Firmin's death,) the Commons, 
in their Address to the King, adverted to the 
subject in the following terms. " We do further, 
in all humility, beseech your Majesty, that your 
Majesty would give such effectual orders, as to your 
Royal Wisdom shall seem fit, for the suppressing 
all pernicious books and pamphlets, which contain 
in them impious doctrines against the Holy Trinity, 
and other fundamental articles of our faith, tending 
to the subversion of the Christian Religion; and 
that the authors and publishers thereof may be dis- 
countenanced and punished." This humble request 
of "His Majesty's faithful Commons" had the de- 
sired effect ; and, in the course of the same Session 
of Parliament, the King gave his consent to the 
passing of an Act, in which the joint recommendar 
tion of Mr. Gailhard, the Dissenters, and the mem- 

VOL. I. 2 G 



bers of the House of Commons, was duly carried 
out. This was the Statute 9 and 10 William III., 
c. 32, entitled, " An Act for the more effectual sup- 
pressing of Blasphemy and Profeneness." 

By this Statute, it was enacted, that " if any per- 
son, having been educated in, or at any time having 
made profession of the Christian Religion, within 
this reakn, shall, by writing, printing, teaching, or 
advised speaking, deny any one of the persons of 
the Holy Trinity to be God, or shall assert or main- 
tain there are more Grods than one, or shall deny 
the Christian Religion to be true, or the Holy Scrip- 
tures of the Old and New Testament to be of divine 
authority, and shall be thereof lawfully con- 
victed by the oath of two or more credible witnesses; 
such person, for the first offence, shall be adjudged 
incapable, and disabled in law, to have and enjoy any 
ofiice or employment, ecclesiastical, civil or miU- 
tary: and if such person shall be a second time 
lawfully convicted, as aforesaid, of all or any of the 
aforesaid crime or crimes, that then he shall from 
thenceforth be disabled to sue, prosecute, plead, or 
use any action or information, or to be guardian of 
any child, or executor or administrator of any per- 
son, or capable of any legacy or deed of gift, or to 
bear any office, civil or military, or benefice eccle- 
siastical, for ever within this realm, and shall also 
suffer imprisonment for the space of three years, 
without bail or mainprize, from the time of such 

It is inferred, with great probability, by Dr. 
Thomas Rees, " from the manner in which Bishop 
Burnet appears to have written to his friend Lim- 


borch, in commendation of this intolerant law, that 
he had some, and probably a considerable share in 
the preparation of it."* In a letter written to 
Locke, August 18th, 1698, of which the learned 
Samuel Crellius was the bearer, Limborch thus ad- 
verts to Crellius's acquaintance with the Bishop of 
Salisbury, and to the terms, in which the latter had 
referred to the passing of the above Act. "He 
[Crellius] has before been in England, and on that 
occasion became acquainted with the Bishop of 
Salisbury. But whether, at this time, in the pre- 
sent posture of affairs, after the recent enactment 
of the law against those who deny any one of the 
persons of the Holy Trinity, he will be to him a 
welcome visiter, I very greatly doubt. It was with 
some surprise that I read in that Most Reverend 
Prelate's last letter to me, a warm commendation 
of this Statute. I returned a free and candid an- 
swer, pointing out the sort of zeal which ought to 
be manifested in defence of the truth, namely, not 
that fiery zeal which, by the severity of legal enact- 
ments, attempts to close the mouths of opponents, 
but that which, by the power of arguments, forces 
upon the mind a conviction of the truth. I do not 
know whether or not my freedom of speech was 
agreeable to him. I wrote what I beUeved it to 
be my duty to state. The matter is one of supreme 
importance, respecting which we are not permitted 
to dissemble. I am aware that my opinion is of no 
weight either as to procuring or opposing the Sta- 
tute. Nevertheless, since it pleased the Bishop to 
pour his complaints into my bosom, as he expresses 

• Christian Reformer, 1835, Vol. II. p. 28. 

2 G 2 


himself, I have gone beyond my proper business 
to write explicitly to my friend what I thought I 
greatly fear lest this law should prove the com- 
mencement of a new persecution, "♦ 

Fortunately, the apprehensions of limborch proved 
unfounded. It does not appear, that any persons 
were brought into trouble at that time, by the pass- 
ing of the above Act ;-\ and though attempts were 
subsequently made, as in the case of Edward ElwaU, 
and others, to enforce it, these attempts were ren- 
dered abortive by the increasing liberality of the 
age, till, at length, so much of it as related to 
Antitrinitarians was repealed, by the Act usually 
known as Mr. William Smith's Act, which received 
the Royal Assent on the 21st of July, 1813.J On 
that day, as was observed by the late Rev. Robert 
Aspland, "Unitarians became for the first time free- 
men in their native land." But though their persons 
were protected from violence by the Act of Mr. 
William Smith, the property bequeathed to them 
for religious purposes, before the passing of that 
Act, was still found, contrary to the intention of the 
legislature, to be insecure ; and the charter of their 
freedom was not fully confirmed, till the passing of 
the Dissenters' Chapels Bill, on the 19th of July, 

It has been the object of the preceding remarks 
to furnish a review of the state of religious parties, 
and a sketch of the progress of Unitarianism in 
England, from the Reformation to the close of the 

• Christian Reformer, 1835, Vol. IL pp. 28, 29. 
t Lindsey's Hist. View, Chap. v. Sect. i. p. 304. 
t Appendix, No. xx. § Appendix, No. xxi. 


seventeenth century. How far that object has been 
accomplished it remains for the reader to judge. 
But that Antitrinitarian opinions were held by 
many, and that the number of those who embraced 
them received large, and constant accessions, during 
the whole of that period, evidence has been exhi- 
bited, which must convince the most incredulous. 

A striking fact, illustrative of the state of the 
Unitarian doctrine in the Church of England about 
the year 1700, is mentioned by Mr. Evelyn in his 
Memoirs.* " Are not many of us," says he, " able 
to point to several persons whom nothing has re- 
commended to places of the highest trust, and often 
to rich benefices and dignities, but the open enmity 
which they have, almost from their cradles, professed 
to the Divinity of Christ 1" The reference here is 
to the abuse of patronage on the part of the Whigs, 
who are charged, in no very ambiguous terms, with 
having elevated to ofiices of the highest authority, 
both in Church and State, persons, whose only re- 
commendation was that of having been trained up 
from their childhood in Antitrinitarian sentiments. 
There may be exaggeration in the manner in which 
this charge is worded ; but that persons of the de- 
scription alluded to did obtain situations of trust 
and importance, both in and out of the Church, 
there is little reason to doubt. That the heterodoxy, 
however, of such men as Locke and Newton formed 
the ground of preference, and particularly the chief 
or only ground, with those to whom they owed their 
elevation, is extremely improbable. That it was 

• Vol II. p. 73, An. 1701 ; apud Christian Reformer, N. S. Vol. III. 
p. 33. 


not allowed to operate as a bar to their admission 
to office, is creditable to the memory of William 
III., and his Ministers, and especially to the former, 
who retained, to the close of his life, the rigid Cal- 
vinistic sentiments, in which he had been educated, 
and which he brought with him from Holland into 
this country. 

We have a further indication of the progress 
which liberal opinions had made, and of the effects 
resulting from their diffusion, in the following ac- 
count of the state of the English Presbyterian body 
by the Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.S. A., which he gives 
in his Life of Oliver Heywood, under the years 
1700 and 170 !,♦ and with which we shall close the 
present Introduction. 

" He speaks with great concern of differences 
which had arisen even thus early in the Non-Con- 
forming body, and expresses his sorrow if ' Dr. Stil- 
lingfleet should be a true prophet, Let the Dissenters 
alone^ and they will destroy themselves.^ — ' If my ink, 
or breath or blood would afford a plaister, I should 
rejoice.' He knew not what to advise. The Dis- 
senters had begun without making provision for 
cases such as those. 

" Another thing which in this year deeply inter- 
ested him and disturbed his quiet was, the publica- 
tion by Mr. Smith of a volume, in which he explained 
the new views which he took of the imputation of 
Christ's righteousness. He entitled it, * The true 
Notion of Imputed Righteousness, and our Justifi- 
cation thereby ; being a supply of what is lacking 

• The Rise of the Old Dissent, exemplified in the Life of Oliver 
Heywood: by the Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.S. A., pp. 400, 401. 


in the late book of that most learned person Bishop 
Stillingfleet,' &c. ; and it was followed in the same 
year by * A Defence of the foregoing Doctrine against 
some growing Opposition among Neighbours ; Mi- 
nisters, and others.' This appears to have been the 
first promulgation from the press of opinions deemed 
heretical, by a Yorkshire Non-Conforming minister. 
Bfr. Smith had been ordained to the ministry by 
Mr. Heywood himself. The book excited cdarm 
and concern. Mr. Heywood, on the 21st of Decem- 
ber, wrote thus to Mr. JoUie : — ^ We have another 
breach made in our parts by Mr. Matthew Smith, 
preaching, and printing a book against the impu- 
tation of Christ's righteousness for justification, that 
Articultis stantis aut cadentis EcclesuB^ as Luther 
calls it. I am much concerned about it ; because 
it diverts people from the main practical things to 
endless disputes ; besides the pemiciousness of the 
doctrine. I have charity for him, though [some] 
men have not ; and others admire him. I bless the 
Lord we have peace among our people.' Had Mr. 
Heywood lived twenty years longer he would have 
seen still wider departures from what he deemed 
the truth, in the Non-Conforming ministry, for which 
a preparation was now being laid. 

" 1701, Another year of declining health, and 
diminished power of exertion. But we still find 
him intent on his Master's work, and delighting 
himself in his frequent private devotions. He is 
still discomposed about Mr. Kirshaw's disputes in 
Craven, and Mr. Smith's want of orthodoxy.* Mr. 

* '' Mr. Smith was one of the first of those who entered the Non- 
Conforming ministry after the time of the ejectment. He was a native 


Timothy Jollie, without having seen the book, attri- 
buted it to the want of proper humility in Mr. 
Smith, and writes to Mr. Heywood concerning it : — 
* I do heartily condole with you in the apprehension 
the common adversary will gain by these efforts ; 
but I trust the faith of the martyrs and glorious 
reformers will not be abandoned to novellists.* The 
spirit however of free inquiry, which had manifested 
itself in the Puritan body in earlier times, when it 
touched only petty matters, and brought them to 
the test of Scripture, was now beginning to take a 
wider range, and to comprehend within its reach 
far higher subjects, and was not to be checked by 
appeals to ancestry, and the opinions of ancient or 
later martyrs." 

of York, and educated by Mr. Ralph Ward, the miniflter particularly 
patronized by Lady Hewley, and whose daughter was the wife of Dr. 




Martin Cellarius, called also Borrhaus, was bom 
at Stuttgard in the year of our Lord 1499 ; and was the 
first Protestant, who openly avowed Antitrinitarian senti- 
ments. He received the rudiments of his education, toge- 
ther with Melanchthon, imder the celebrated John Reuchlin, 
or Capnio, at Tiibingen. From Tubingen he proceeded to 
Heidelberg, where he made great proficiency in languages, 
and in those branches of literature and science, which were 
commonly cultivated among the learned of that age. His 
first settlement was at Wittenberg, where he was kindly 
received by Melanchthon, who procured him some private 
teaching, which he foimd very profitable. 

He began to rise into eminence about the year 15^; 
and when Luther threw off the papal yoke, Cellarius, who 
was at that time upon intimate terms with him, was among 
the first of those who embraced his principles. But it 
soon became evident, that he was not destined to be a 
servile follower of Luther, or any other merely human 
teacher. Having engaged in a controversy with Stiibner 
and Storck, two of the most active leaders of the German 
Anabaptists, he was convinced by their arguments, and 
had the candour to acknowledge himself in the wrong. In 
his twenty-sixth year he went into Prussia, where he was 


imprisoned by order of the goyemment, but nevertheless 
published several works in favour of his Anabaptistical 

Pursuing his religious inquiries with a freedom before 
unknown, he was ultimately led to embrace Unitarian sen- 
timents, and became very zealous for their diffusion. The 
public profession, however, of these new opinions, which 
were equally obnoxious to Catholics and Protestants, ex- 
posed him to a succession of persecutions ; and compelled 
him, in the year 1536, after his liberation from prison at 
Konigsberg by Prince Albert, to flee, for safety and pro- 
tection, into Switzerland, where he spent the remainder of 
his life in comparative tranquillity. 

The Ministers of Poland and Transylvania, speaking of 
Cellarius, say, " What has not Martin Cellarius attempted, 
that he might clear the way for posterity? — Read his 
writings." In another place they observe, that " God gave 
to Luther and Zwingle the honour of reforming the re- 
ceived doctrines concerning Justification and the Eucharist; 
but that it was Martin Cellarius, Servetus and Erasmus,* 
who were first employed by him, as instruments, in incul- 
cating a knowledge of the true God and of Christ." In a 
manuscript history of the life of Servetus, attributed by 
Allwoerden to Castalio, honourable mention is made of 
Cellarius, who is described as " chief Professor of Theology 
in the city of Geneva," at the time of Servetus's martyr- 
dom ; and is mentioned as the principal opponent of Calvin 
in that dark transaction. Faustus Socinus, in a letter to 
Peter Statorius, dated October 15th, 1590, says, that his 
uncle Lselius collected testimonies concerning Cellarius; 
and this collection, if it were still in existence, would 
probably throw some light upon the early history of the 
Protestant Reformation. Andrew Althamer, one of the 

• Appendix, No. i. 


Refonneis, who pushed his sentiinents to the very verge 
of AntJnomianisTn, charges Cellarius with holding the opi- 
nions of Paul of Samosate; and represents him as having 
taught that Jesus Christ was a human prophet. His Com- 
mentaries, indeed, contain expressions, which savour of 
orthodoxy, and differ widely from the language commonly 
used by Antitrinitarians. It may nevertheless be doubted, 
whether, in any part of his life, after he had arrived at 
years of discretion, he was a believer in the doctrine of the 
Trinity, as laid down in the Athanasian Creed. Perhaps 
his opinion, under its latest modification, could not be 
more concisely or correctly expressed, than in the follow- 
ing words, with which he concludes the Preface to his 
Commentaries on the Books of Moses, published A.D. 
1555, and which certainly do not come up to the full 
standard of approved orthodoxy. '' Spiritus sacer in pec- 
tora nostra de coelo fimdatur, quo Patrem coelestem per 
fiKum Jesum Christum dominum nostrum lege Mosaica 
yarie adumbratum, per prophetas promissum, a majoribus 
jam inde a contracta culpa expectatum, et postremis tem- 
poribus cum variis signis ostentisque mundo exhibitum et 
declaratum, vere sancteque revereamur, colamus, amplifi- 
cemus : cui sit gloria et honos in setemum. Amen.** Ren- 
dered into English, these words express the following sen- 
timent : — " May the Holy Spirit be poured into our breasts 
from heaven, and by this Spirit may we truly and holily 
revere, worship and magnify our Heavenly Father, through 
his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, variously shadowed forth 
by the Mosaic Law, promised through the prophets, ex- 
pected by our forefathers from the first introduction of 
sin, and exhibited and declared to the world in later times 
with various signs and wonders: to whom be glory and 
honour for ever. Amen.*' 

His celebrated work, "De Operibus Dei," exhibits 


Still more decisive indications of heterodoxy. Among the 
** Loci Insigniores/' or More Remarhahle Pauaget^ is one 
entitled, '^ Consilium creationia secundi Adam/' or Design 
of the creation of the second Adam^ (§ iii. p. 3,) and ano- 
ther, — " Christus deus et electi dii/' Christ a god and the 
elect gods (§ ix. p. 23). Under the latter head he says, 
*^ Let him be a god fully through a full participation of 
the Deity which dwells in him bodily, and through a full 
participation of the Holy Spirit which he has without mea- 
sure ; yet we also are all gods, and sons of the Highest, by 
a participation of the Deity, and of the same Spirit, but 
after the measure of the gift of Christ Jesus, — of whose 
fulness we have all received, according to this Scripture, ' I 
said ye are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most 
High.'" And that the word ^rorf, here applied to Christ, 
is used in an inferior sense, is evident from the fact, that 
it is printed deusy and not Deus, the latter being used only 
to designate the Supreme God. This remarkable treatise 
concludes with the following ascription of 'Upraise and 
glory to the Father of glory, and to his exalted Messiah." 
*' Laus et gloria Patri glorise, et Messiah suo exaltato, in 
ssecula sseculorum. Amen." 

Cellarius died on the 11th of October, 1564, and was 
interred within the precincts of the Cathedral Church at 
Basle, where a monument was afterwards erected to his 
memory; and consecrated, with singular impropriety, to 
the Triune God. 

Cellarius was of short stature, but robust, and inclined 
to corpulency. His biographers represent him as an ex- 
cellent theologian ; and well skilled in the Hebrew, Chaldee 
and Syriac languages. He took no part in the politics of 
the day, but devoted himself wholly to literary pursuits. 
His writings, of which the following is a list, were partly 
philosophical, and partly theological. 


1. On the Works of God. Strasb. 1527, 8vo. The 
Preface to this book was written by Wolfgang Fabricius 
Capito. The book itself is mentioned by Faustus Socinus, 
in his " Brief Treatise concerning the Use and End of the 
Lord's Supper." He says, " If there is any one who has 
the book of Martin Cellarins, or Borrhaiis, * On the Works 
of God,' unless my memory deceives me, he will have 
enough to convince him, that my opinion is neither new, 
nor heard of for the first time in our age." 

2. A Homily an the Restoration of the Church, being 
an extract from the preceding work. Weissenburg, 1568, 

3. A Commentary on Ecclesiastes. Basle, 1539, Fol. 
This Commentary was reprinted in 1564*. Vide No. 14. 

4. On the Distinction between the True and the False. 
Three Books. Basle, 1541, 4to. 

5. Annotations on the Politics of Aristotle. Eight 
Books. Basle, 1545, Svo. 

6. Axioms on the Origin and Nature of the Old and 
New Man, propoimded to the Theological Students in the 
University of Basle, for knowing the true Way of Piety 
and Salvation. Basle, 1548. 

7. On the Use which may be made of the Example and 
Doctrine of Francis Spire. Basle, 1550. 

8« On the Origin, Nature, Use and Distinction of the 
Jubilees instituted by God, and the Difference between 
these and the false ones counterfeited by the Adversary. 
Basle, 1550. 

9. Elements of Astronomy and Geography. 1539, Svo. 

10. Conmientaries on Aristotle's Three Books on the 
Art of Speaking. Basle, 1551, Fol. 

11. Conmientaries on the Pentateuch. 1555, Fol. 

12. A Commentary on the Books of Joshua, Judges, 
Ruth, Samuel and Kings. Basle, 1557, Fol. 

400 WOLFG. FABR. CAPITO. [Art. 2. 

13. Commentaries on Isaiah and Revelation. Basley 
FoL These Commentaries are without date ; but the lat- 
ter was published separately at Basle» in 1561, Fol., and at 
Zurich, 1600, Fol. 

14. Commentary on Job, and Annotations on Ecclesiaa- 
tes. 1564, Fol. 

15. Astronomical and Geographical Conmient on the 
Elements of Cosmography, intended for the use of Stud^its 
in Astronomy and Geography. Basle, 1555, 8yo. 

ViDEXD. Sandii, Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum, pp. 15, 16. JBodb, 
Hifltoria Antitrmitariorum, T. L pp. 67—71 ; T. IL pp. 223—231. 
Melchior, Adam. Vitffi German. Theolog. pp. 191, 192. Seckendorf^ 
Historia LutheranlBmi, L. i. An. 1522, pp. 193, 194. Hoornbeek^ Summa 
Cbntroveniarum, L. y. pp. 337, 338. Baykf Diet Hist, et CriL AH. 
BoBBHATJS. Morerif Diet Hist. Art. Bobbhe'e. Itee9*B RacoTiaa 
Cateebism, Hist. Introd. pp. iy, y. AUwoerden^ Hiat. Mich. Serreti, 
p. 76. F. Socini 0pp. T. L pp. 433. 767. 


Wolfgang Fabricius Capito is mentioned by the Mi- 
nisters and Elders of Transylyania,as the friend and fellow- 
labourer of Cellarius, in a book " On the Divinity of the 
Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus." — "Fabricius Capito," 
say they, " a man alike distinguished for piety and erudi- 
tion, after announcing the superior mental endowments of 
his fellow-labourer, Cellarius, and the useful character of 
his treatise [On the Works of God], mentions certain reli- 
gious topics on which he had some private conversation 
with Cellarius, such as the knowledge of the One God, and 
of Christ ; the Holy Spirit, &c." To the above work of 
Cellarius, published in 8vo. at Strasburg, A. D. 1527, a 
Preliminary Address to the Reader, written by Capito, is 
prefixed, in which he thus expresses himself as to the im- 
perfect nature, and limited extent of the Reformation, in 
which he and his fellow-labourers were then engaged. 
" This book of our Cellarius, excellent as it is, and Bucer's 

Art. 2.] WOLFG. FABR. CAPITO. 401 

'Matthew/ which cautiously teaches many things above 
the capacity of the vulgar, as well as our own * Hosea, 
Malachi and Jonah/ in which, according to our poor abi- 
lity, we have treated upon matters relating to God and 
truth, in a manner not altogether different from the style 
of Cellarius ; our works, I say, will all decay and perish, 
in the natural course of things, with us their authors, and 
with our own consent. This we know, and write accord- 
ingly, but only for present use, till God shall reveal greater 

Capito was bom at Hagenau, in Alsace, about the year 
1478 ; and received his academical education at Basle. He 
was brought up to the study of Physic, in which he gra- 
duated : but after the death of his father, about the year 
1504, he began to turn his attention to Law and Theology. 
The latter of these he finally chose as his profession. 

He first became a Preacher at Spire, from which place 
he was invited to Basle. The Archbishop of Mentz, having 
heard of his great merit, appointed him his Chancellor in 
1520. This office he accepted, with the view of enlisting 
the German clergy into the service of the Reformation, 
and bringing about the contemplated change without dis- 
turbance ; and as long as he entertained any hope of suc- 
cess in this laudable design, he prevailed upon Luther not 
to exasperate the heads of the clergy by his vehemence, in 
the hope that they might be gained over by gentler means. 
But when he saw that interest and ambition prevailed with 
the Archbishop, he threw up his appointment ; and quit- 
ting the court, retired to Strasburg, where he exercised, 
during the remainder of his life, the humble functions of a 
Pastor. He fell a victim to the plague in the year 1541 
or 154S, at the age of sixty-three. 

Capito superintended the publication of an 8vo. edition 
of the Greek New Testament, which was printed at Stras- 

VOL. I. 2 H 


402 WOLFG. FABR. CAPITO. [^Art. 2. 

burg, in ISS^, by his cousin, Wolfgang Koephel; and 
which was remarkable for its elegance and accuracy. His 
principal works were, 

1. Hebrew Institutions, in two Books; 

2. Commentaries on Hosea, Jonah^ Habakkuk and Ma- 

3. A Life of John CEcolampadius ; 

4. A Treatise on the early Training of a Theologian ; 

5. On the six Days' Work of Creation. 

His published writings are very scarce ; and not to be 
met with, except in the oldest, and best furnished libra- 
ries. He left behind him several manuscripts in German ; 
and wrote Commentaries on most of the books of Scrip- 
ture. But these were not printed; and have probably 
long since perished. 

He is represented, by contemporaneous writers, as a learn- 
ed and eloquent Divine ; and is said particularly to have 
excelled as a Hebrew scholar. Melchior Adam describes 
him as a friend to literature, and literary institutions ; a 
man of admirable talents and judgment, and of great steadi- 
ness of religious principle. He urged Erasmus to speak 
out, and blamed him for not making a bolder stand against 
the errors and corruptions of the day. Sandius, not alto- 
gether without reason, assigns to him the first place in his 
"Bibliotheca Antitrinitariorum." * 

ViDEND. Sandti B. A. pp. 1, 2. Back, Hist Ant T. I. p. 95; 
T. n. pp. 302, 303. Moreri, Diet Hist Art. Capiton. Aikin^s Life 
of Zwingle, p. 254. Melch, Adam, Vit Germ. TheoL pp. 41 — 43. 
Walchii, Bibl. Theol. T. IV. pp. 16. 568. 587. Vogt, Catal. Historico- 
Crit Libr. Rar. p. 169. Ze Long, BibL Sac. Ed. Masch. P. L C. iL 
Sect i. § xiL etc. 

• Appendix, No. ii. 

Art 3.] JOHN CAMPANUS. 403 


John Campanus is seldom mentioned by the writers of 
his own time ; but Schelhom, in his ** Amoenitates Lite- 
rariae," (Tom. XI.) has collected, with great care, many 
curious and interesting particulars respecting him. 

His native place is not known. Schelhom thinks that 
he was bom either at Juliers, or at Maseyck, an inland 
town of the Netherlands, on the Maese. The former of 
these conjectures is the more probable ; and is confirmed 
by the testimony of Witzel. 

Campanus studied first at Dusseldorf, and afterwards at 
Cologne ; but was driven from the latter place, about the 
year 1520, by a knot of obscure individuals, whom he had 
lampooned, under the name of "the "Wiseacres of Co- 
logne.*' In a letter, dated Cologne, 15^, and published 
in tiie works of Cornelius Agrippa, he is called " a man of 
distinguished learning and virtue:'* but whether he had 
then imbibed Antitrinitarian opinions, does not appear. 

He settied at Wittenberg about the year 1528, and for 
a time had the charge of some noble youths in that city ; 
but he conducted himself with such caution, that none of 
the Professors discovered tiiat he was an Antitrinitarian, 
although he secretly disseminated his opinions, even at that 
early period. At first, like Cellarius and Capito, he pro- 
fessed himself a follower of Luther ; but differing from the 
great reformer on tiie subjects of the Eucharist and the 
Trinity, he separated from him at the end of two years, 
and, according to Moreri, formed a sect of his own. This 
statement, however, is not strictly true ; for Campanus, as 
Mosheim observes, was not so far encouraged, by the num- 
ber of his followers, or the indulgence of his adversaries, 
as to be in a condition to form a regularly organized sect. 
It was not, indeed, till he had left Wittenberg, and gone 
to reside with the Rev. George Witzel, at Niemeck, that 

2h 2 

404 JOHN CAMPANU8. [Art. 3. 

Luther and Melanchthon were apprized of his being an 
Antitrinitarian. Before his residence at that village, how- 
ever, he went to Marburg, for the purpose of attending a 
conference between Luther and the Swiss Protestants, on 
the subject of the Lord's Supper, respecting which he is 
said to have held opinions peculiar to himself. But Luther 
objected to his being present, on which account he was 
not permitted to attend. Returning, therefore, from Mar- 
burg, he took his farewell of Wittenberg, and went, as was 
before stated, to Niemeck. 

Rumours now began to get abroad respecting his un- 
soundness in the faith; and his friend Witzel, who was 
entertaining him as his guest, also fell under a suspicion 
of heresy. This suspicion was entirely groundless; and 
Witzel is, therefore, very properly omitted by Sandius, in 
his Catalogue of Antitrinitarian writers. 

It appears that, in 1530, Campanus was at Thurgau, to 
which canton Luther, Jonas, Bugenhagen, and Melanchthon 
had been invited by the Elector of Saxony, in order to 
take into consideration certain controverted articles of 
faith. On this occasion he was accompanied by some 
yoimg men from Juliers; but as he went uninvited, he 
suffered a second repulse. 

Soon after this, he paid another short visit at the house 
of Witzel, through whom he obtained access to the valu- 
able library of Werner von Stechau, for the purpose of 
consulting the writings of the Fathers. But this act of 
kindness involved Witzel in great trouble; for it now 
became known, that Campanus rejected the doctrine of the 
Trinity, and it was suspected that Witzel also was an Anti- 
trinitarian. Campanus, therefore, withdrew into the Duchy 
of Juliers ; and Witzel was thrown into prison. But on 
a careful examination of Witzel's papers, nothing was 
found to criminate him. Cochlseus, and after him Spon- 

Art 3.] JOHN CAMPANUS. 405 

danus and others, say that he was imprisoned at the insti- 
gation of Luther ; but Megalander denies this, and asserts 
that the Elector imprisoned him of his own accord. It 
appears, however, from Luther's "Table-talk," that, for 
some years afterwards, he retained his suspicions that Wit- 
zel was a secret favourer of the Campanian heresy. 

Campauus is said to have written a book, entitled, 
"Against the whole World after the Apostles." Whether 
this book was composed in Latin, or in German, and whe- 
ther it was published, or suppressed, Schelhom acknow- 
ledges his inability to determine. Luther saw a copy of 
it in Campanus's own hand-writing ; and both he and Me- 
lanchthon allude to it. Bock remembered having some- 
where read, that it was composed at Niemeck ; but was 
unable to refer to the passage, in which this statement 

Campanus taught, that the Son is inferior to the Father, 
and that the Holy Ghost is not a distinct person ; and the 
first Article of " the Augsburg Confession " is supposed to 
have been framed with a direct reference to these opinions, 
which Campanus was employed in propagating, at the very 
time that the Diet was sitting at Augsburg. Melanchthon, 
who was no less distinguished for his moderation than his 
great learning, was the person chiefly concerned in drawing 
up this Confession; and he is known purposely to have 
used terms, as little offensive to the Roman Catholics, as a 
regard to truth and consistency would admit. On its com- 
pletion, it was submitted to the inspection of some Catholic 
Divines, by order of Charles V. ; and after they had scruti- 
nized its contents, and objected to some of its articles, 
Melanchthon revised it, softening down some of its expres- 
sions, expunging others, and giving to all, which had the 
remotest connexion with the points in dispute between the 
Lutherans and the Roman Catholics, the mildest and most 

406 JOHN CAMP ANUS. \_Art. 3. 

favourable construction which they would bear. Such^ 
indeed, was the anxiety displayed by the Reformed party, 
on this occasion, to gloss over the differences which ex- 
isted between themselves and their Roman Catholic bre- 
thren, that they seem almost to have lost sight of the 
grounds upon which they had seceded from the Church of 
Rome, and to have been tempted into concessions, at vari- 
ance with the true Protestant principle. In accordance 
with this time-serving spirit, the doctrine taught by Cam- 
panus was condemned, and a formal censure pronounced 
upon all who were friendly to its dissemination. The ma- 
jority of those, who have written commentaries upon " the 
Augsburg Confession," suppose, that, in the words " Dam- 
nant Samosatenianos Neotericos," Servetus and his follow- 
ers are the persons denounced ; and this opinion is favoured 
by ancient and respectable testimonies. In an anonymous 
edition of the Confession, published at Rostock as early as 
the year 1562, the following observation is subjoined, by 
way of note, upon the words " Veteres et Neotericos :" — 
" Michael Servetus, of Aragon in Spain, who was burnt at 
Geneva, in Savoy, Oct. 27, 1553, has revived in our age 
the heresy of Paul of Samosata, by his writings, published 
in Germany and France." Melanchthon also, in a confer- 
ence held at Worms, A.D. 1540, addressed Eccius to this 
effect : " There is no controversy concerning the first arti- 
cle, in which it is evident that our Churches have faithfully 
defended the commonly received doctrine, against Servetus 
and others.'' Among those, to whom Melanchthon here 
refers, must undoubtedly be placed Campanus, who was 
actively employed in disseminating Antitrinitarian doctrines 
in Germany, before Servetus published anything on the 
subject of the Trinity, and even before he had visited that 
country. Melanchthon, in a letter d^ted July 15th, 1531, 
and addressed to Conrad Heresbach, a Councillor of the 

Art. 3.] JOHN CAMPANUS. 407 

Duchy of Juliersy says, — " You have among you a person 
named Campanus, who professes hostility to the party of 
Luther, in order that he may gain the good opinion of 
those nations, in which the name of Luther is odious. 
Against the Lutherans he writes scarcely anything but 
verbiage and scurriHty. He has woven a web which he 
will not be able to unravel. I entreat you, therefore, to 
take especial care, that no evil arises out of those disputa- 
tions. He is a young man, and unskilled in controver- 
sies of this nature. The title of his book is, ^ Contra 
totum post Apostolos Mundum.' You will think upon 
these things." 

In the year 1532, Campanus published a work with the 
following title. "GottUcher und heiliger Schriffl, vor 
vielen Jaren verdimckelt, imd durch unheilsame Leer und 
Lerer (aus Gottes Zulassung) verfinstert, Restitution und 
Bessenmg, durch den hochgelehrten Johannem Campanum. 
Ein Send-brief an Konigl. M. von Denmarcken, &c. durch 
Nicolaiim Frantz von Streiten, 1532," 8vo. This work 
was divided into four parts ; and the author treated in it 
concerning the Trinity in general, the Holy Spirit, the 
true nativity of the Son of God from the Father, and a 
variety of other matters. He concludes, that there is no 
Trinity of persons in the Godhead. He supposes that by 
the words " Holy Spirit" in Scripture is meant, not the 
third person in the Godhead, which he expressly denies ; 
but the essence, nature, and operations of God the Father, 
and the Son. He rejects, as spurious, 1 John v. 7. But 
this alone, as Bock observes, is not sufficient to prove that 
he was an Antitrinitarian ; for it is well known, that Luther 
himself had doubts respecting the authenticity of this pas- 
sage. He confesses that Christ is the Son of God, not by 
adoption, but by real generation, being produced from the 
substance of the Father, and therefore of one and the same 

408 JOHN CAMPANU8. [_Art 3. 

essence with him : yet he believes, with the Arians, that 
there was a time when the Son was not, and consequently 
that the Father existed prior to the Son. He belieyes 
also that the Son is inferior to the Father, and was his 
assistant in the creation of the world ; and that he is called 
tke Logos f because he was the Messenger and Ambassador 
of the Father : but he denies that divine worship ought to 
be offered to him. 

It has sometimes been supposed, that Campanus was a 
disciple of Servetus, and that he became acquainted with 
that injured man in France. A hint to this effect is thrown 
out by Zeltner, but it rests upon no historical evidence. 
Their opinions indeed were by no means identical, as Schel- 
hom clearly shews, in a parallel which he has drawn be- 
tween them : for although both attacked the doctrine of 
the Trinity, they set about it in very different ways. Cam- 
panus believed that Christ was begotten of the Father 
before the ages ; but Servetus taught, that he had no ex- 
istence, before he was formed in the womb of Mary. The 
former asserted that Christ was the true Son of God, of 
the very substance of the Father, produced before the 
foundation of the world, and therefore a partaker of the 
same divine essence : the latter positively denied this, and 
taught that the Saviour was called " the Son of God," 
because God supplied the place of a Father to him, and 
formed him of the seed of man in Mary's womb. The 
former thought that Christ was called the Logos, by which, 
as his minister, God created the universe : the latter con- 
fidently denied that this name is given to Christ in Scrip- 
ture, and did not allow that the world was made by him. 
Campanus, in short, affirmed that no one but himself had 
entertained correct opinions concerning the Father and the 
Son, from the apostolic age down to his own time, and 
consequently that Servetus had not ; of whom, however, 

Art 3.] JOHN CAMPANUS. 409 

he nowhere says a single word, and who was probably un- 
known to him when he wrote. 

It is uncertain where Campanus was, or how he was 
employed, between the years 153S and 1541 ; but in the 
latter year, Sebastian Franck addressed a letter to him from 
Strasburg, which was translated from Latin into German, 
and printed at Amsterdam, in 1661. Schelhom obtained 
a fr'agment of this letter from John Conrad Ziegler, and 
has inserted it in his account of Campanus. 

In another letter, written on the 10th of June, 1546, 
and addressed to Vitus Theodorus, Melanchthon speaks of 
Campanus as a person of some note at Juliers ; and as se- 
cretly disseminating his opinions, and sapping the founda- 
tions of the Gospel. '^ In the mean time," says Melan- 
chthon, *^he insinuates himself into the good graces of Gto- 
per, and is beloved, because he vents his rage against our 
Churches. May the eternal God, the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who, at the baptism of his Son, truly mani- 
fested himself, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, guide us, 
and not permit the light of the Gospel to be extinguished.** 
That Campanus published some work in defence of his 
opinions in the course of the same year, has been inferred 
from another letter, addressed by Melanchthon to Heres- 
bach ; but what that work was has never been ascertained. 

From this time he appears to have sought retirement, 
induced, as Schelhom conjectures, by the complaints made 
against him by Melanchthon to Heresbach, whose influence 
was at that time great in the Duchy of Juliers. But on 
the publication of an anonymous work " Against the Doc- 
trine of the Trinity, and the Eternity of the Holy Spirit,** 
in the year 1653, Melanchthon, who, in spite of his usual 
candour, could not help wishing Campanus out of the 
world, suspected that it proceeded from his pen. It seems 
probable, however, that it was Servetus's " Christianismi 

410 JOHN CAMP ANUS. [Art 3. 

Restitutio/* which was printed in that year, without the 
author's name in the title-page, but with the initial letters 
M. S. V. at the end. It might easly happen, that Me- 
lanchthon should at first be ignorant who the author was, 
and conjecture that the book was written by Campanus, 
who had prefixed nearly the same title to his German wmrk, 
published in the year 1532. But howerer this may be, we 
incidentaUy learn, firom the above conjecture of Melan- 
chthon, who closely watched his movements, that Campanus 
was not thrown into prison before the year 1 553. It ^peais, 
however, firom the testimony of Lindanus, that he after- 
wards suffered a long imprisonment. The precise time of 
his incarceration it is not easy to determine ; but it seems 
probable, that the fiite of Servetus at Geneva, on the 87th 
of October, 1553, accounts of which spread rapidly through 
the Christian world, induced the Duke of Juliers to give 
coders for his apprehension and confinement. 

Bredenbach, on the authority of Lindanus, says that 
Campanus persuaded the country people of Juliers, that 
the day of judgment was at hand, and that the world would, 
in a short time, be destroyed by a second deluge ; so that 
they need not harass themselves by hard labour any longer, 
but might enjoy what they possessed, and not spaie expense 
in their mode of living. The credulous country people, it 
is added, believing the prediction, sold their lands; but 
soon found, to their cost, that Campanus was no prophet. 
It is by no means certain that this story is true, because 
Lindanus, firom whom it was borrowed, did not scruple to 
resort to misrepresentation and falsehood, when it served 
his purpose : but if it be entitled to any credit, it is amply 
sufficient to accoimt for the imprisonment of Campanus. 
This imprisonment is said to have lasted twenty-six years ; 
but whether Campanus was released, or efiected his escape ; 
how he afterwards lived, and when he died; — these are 

Art. 3.] JOHN CAMPANUS. 411 

points, upon which no satisfactory information has hitherto 
been obtained. 

It may be inferred, from what Lindanus says of him, that, 
after he had regained his freedom, he lay concealed in some 
secure retreat, and lived to be a very old man. It is said, 
too, that he predicted his liberation from prison, and staked 
his credit, as a religious reformer, upon the correctness of 
the prediction ; pledging himself, that, if it did not come 
true, he woidd give up all his long-cherished opinions. 
This story, however, like the former one, respecting his 
prediction of the end of the world, is entitled to little credit, 
considering the source from which it emanates. 

No contemporaneous writer published any reply to the 
works of Campanus, as they issued from the press. Luther, 
Melanchthon, and other leading reformers, purposely ab- 
stained from entering into any controversy with him, from 
a fear of bringing him into notice, and exciting in the pub- 
lic mind a wish to become acquainted with his writings. 
Yet Bock thinks it probable, from a comparison of the 
time at which Campanus was staying at Wittenberg, that 
a work, entitled, ** Vermanung auss unsers gnedigsten 
Herm des Ehurfiirsten zu Sachssen Befehl, gestellet, durch 
die Plrediger zu vorlesen widder Gotteslesterung und Fiil- 
lerey, Wittenberg, 1531," 4to., was published on account 
of the opinions disseminated by him at Wittenberg, and in 
its vicinity, although his name is nowhere mentioned in the 
course of it. 

Some have supposed, that our John Campanus was the 
same person as John Campanus or Campensis, who pub- 
lished " A paraphrastic Interpretation of the Psalms and 
Ecclesiastes " in Latin, at Paris, A.D. 1533, which after- 
wards went through many editions, and was translated into 
French by Stephen Dolet. So thought the authors of a 
Catalogue of Heretics, prepared in the year 1559, by com- 

412 LEWIS HETZER. \^Art 4. 

mand of the Roman Pontiff^ which P. P. Vergerius after- 
wards republished with annotations. But Schelhom has 
shewn, that this was a mistake, and that Campanus and 
Campends were two very different persons. 

ViDEND. SandU B. A. p. 17. Bodt, Hist Ant. T. L pp. 91, 92; IL 
pp. 244—255. IVadUeA Mich. Senret and aeme Vorg&nger, S. 26—34. 
SeheOkom^ Amoen. Lit T. XL pp. 1—92. Moreri, Diet Hist Art. Jean 
Campanus. Moth. Inst H. R S«c xvi. S. L C. iii. $ i — iv, S. iii. P. iL 
C iY. $ iiL Aikooerden, Hist M. Senreti, p. 26. P. Melancth. Epp. 
P. iL pp. 394. 495. Va^, CataL pp. 167, 168. Zeltner, Hist Cr}pto- 
Soc p. 350, Not a. WdkhH, BibL TheoL T. IV. p. 502. 


Lewis Hetzer, (Germanice^ Ludwio Hatzer,) of 
Bischofszelly a town of Switzerland, in Thurgau, was a 
man of great learning, and deeply versed in the original 
languages of the Scriptures. He is said, like Cellarius, at 
one time to have joined the Anabaptist party, and to have 
been upon terms of great intimacy with Storck and Miint- 
zer ; but he differed from them on some points, and parti- 
cularly as regarded their levelling principles. 

At first he held the office of chaplain at Wadenschweil ; 
but being appointed to a cure at Zurich in 1523, he soon 
attached himself to the party of Zwingle. He openly im- 
pugned the doctrine of the Trinity ; but the freedom of 
his opinions being at variance with the narrow and bigoted 
spirit of the age, he was thrown into prison, and ultimately 
condemned to death, by the magistrates of Constance, on 
a charge of blasphemy. This cruel sentence was carried 
into execution on the 4th of February, 1529. Historians, 
however, are not agreed as to the nature of his pimishment, 
Sandius and others affirming that he was beheaded, while 
Seckendorf informs us that he was burnt. Planter says of 
him, " that he very honestly and unblameably bade fare- 
well to his disciples, and with most devout prayers com- 

Art. 4.] LEWIS HETZER. 413 

mended himself to God, even to the astonishment of the 

Breitinger, in the " Museum Helveticum," informs us, 
that Hetzer was among the first of those, who rejected the 
ancient Romish superstition, and gave the weight of his 
name to the Evangelical doctrine, which he defended both 
by his mouth and his pen. Some writers have asserted, 
that he was a man of Ucentious principles and conduct : 
but this view of his character, though adopted by so re- 
spectable a historian as Mosheim, is entitled to no credit. 
The probability is, that this charge was a fabrication of 
his enemies ; the most excellent characters, in those days, 
being exposed to the greatest misrepresentations, if they 
happened to hold opinions at variance with the orthodox 

Hetzer maintained, that the Father alone is the true 
God ; that Christ is not equal to the Father, but vastly 
inferior to Him, and of a different essence ; that there are 
not three persons in one God, because God is altogether 
ine£&ble, being neither person nor essence. His opinions 
on this subject are said to be embodied in the following 
verses, written by himself. 

Ich bin allein der einig Gott, 

Der ohn Oehylff alle Dinge beschaffen hat : 

Fragstu, wie viel meiner sey ? 

Ich bin's allein, meiner sind nit Drey. 

Sag auch darby ohn' alien Wohn, 

Dass ich glatt nit weiss von keiner Person. 

These rude verses have been thus rendered into Latin : 

Ipse ego qui propria cuncta hec virtute creabam. 

Quferis quot simus? Frustra ; ego solus eram. 
Htc non tres numero, verum sum solus, at isti 

Hand numero tres sunt, nam qui ego, solus eram. 
Nescio personam, solus sum rivus ego, et fons ; 

Qui me nescit, eum nescio ; solus ero. 

414 LEWIS HETZER. [-4rf. 4. 

Hetzer pronounced the worship of images to be fornica- 
tion and idolatry; and in 1523 published a short treatise 
in German against the use of them in Churches. This 
work bore the following title. ^* Urtheil Gottes, wie man 
sich mit den Bildem halten soil." Another edition of this 
work appeared at Breslau in I52if ; and in the same year a 
Latin translation of it was published in small '4to. Sandius 
says that this was without the author's name (B. A. p. 17), 
and Breitinger makes a similar assertion (Mus. Helv. 
T. VI. p. 102) ; but the incorrectness of these statements 
will appear from the title of the book itself, which is now 
lying before the writer of these pages, and of which the 
following is an exact copy. "Judicium Dei, et Spond 
nostri, quid cum Imaginibus, seu Simulachris agendum sit, 
ex Canonicis Scripturis, per Ludouicum Hatzer. — O do- 
mine deus noster libera captiuos tuos. Anno M.D.xxiiii.** 

Sandius mentions another book, which Hetzer composed 
against the Deity of Christ, but which Zwingle suppressed. 
This book is referred to by Henr. Ottius, who states, that 
Hetzer was the first among the Anabaptists who impugned 
the Deity of Christ, in a written book, which Zwingle sup- 
pressed. But Breitinger, who also mentions this fact on 
the authority of Ottius, adds, " Ottius most correctly ob- 
serves, that the impious book of Hetzer was only written, 
and not published ; but what he subjoins about its sup- 
pression by Zwingle, I take to mean, that it was not 
printed by his advice and authority, lest it should some 
time be printed at Zurich or Basle." Breitinger further 
states, that the manuscript afterwards passed into the hands 
of Ambrose Blaurer, a Clergyman of the city of Constance, 
in whose library it was, A. D. 1552. Hottinger probably 
alludes to the same work, in his Hist. Eccles. Helv., where 
he mentions it as a current report, " that Hetzer wrote 
abominable impieties against the Divinity of Christ." 

Art 4.] LEWI$ HETZER. 415 

Hetzer translated into German (Ecolampadius's treatise 
on the Lord's Supper ; and in the Preface to his version, 
which was printed at Zurich in 15%, he endeavours to 
aheWy that the words used by o\xi Lord, at the institution 
of this rite, are to be taken figuratively, and assigns the 
reasons which induced him to translate the work. He also 
disclaims having any connexion with the Anabaptists : and 
strictly speaking, neither he, nor Denck, his firiend and 
coadjutor in the translation of the Prophets, was an Ana- 
baptist, although both of them adopted some of the opi- 
nions of that sect. 

Bock reckons it among the merits of Hetzer, that he, 
in conjimction with Denck, translated the Books of the 
Prophets into German before Luther. This translation 
was published in Folio, and bore the following title. "Alle 
Propheten nach Hebraischer Sprache verteutscht. O Gott 
erloss die Gefangenen, M.D.xxvii." It is stated, at the 
end of the volume, that it was printed at Worms by Peter 
Schoeffer, and finished on the 13 th of April, 1527; and in 
the Preface the translator intimates, that, after he had 
published his German version of the prophet Malachi, 
which came out in the preceding year, God supplied him 
with a fellow-labourer in the person of John Denck, who 
assisted him in completing his version of ''all the Pro- 

Hetzer was a sincere inquirer after truth, but hasty and 
impetuous. On his setdement at Zurich, he was captivated 
with the new views imfolded by Zwingle, and was not slow 
in opening his whole heart to him. He attended the se- 
cond disputation at Zurich, Oct. 26-28, 1523, and made 
memorandums of the whole proceedings ; and, before the 
end of the year 1523, published his attack upon image- 
worship. In this little work, after a short introduction, he 
adduces, from the Old Testament, passages in which image- 

416 LEWIS HETZER. \^Art i. 

worship is forbidden ; others in which God commands the 
destruction of images, and denoimces punishment upon 
those who worship them ; and others, again, in which praise 
is bestowed upon those who have abolished idols. He 
then states his conviction, that these scriptural testimonies 
will satisfy pious Christians ; and. in order that he may give 
the same satisfaction, as far as possible, to Roman Catholics, 
who depend, as he says, upon trifling human reasonings, 
rather than upon testimonies of solid Scripture, he pro- 
ceeds to answer the arguments usually brought forward in 
favour of image-worship, and that chiefly by means of pas- 
sages from the Old and New Testament. The arguments 
to which he replies are the following. First, that the tes- 
timonies against images are adduced from the Jewish Scrip- 
tures, the precepts of which are not binding upon Chris- 
tians ; secondly, that it is not the images themselves which 
are worshiped and adored, but the saints of whom the 
images are the representations; thirdly, that images are 
the books of the illiterate ; and fourthly, that they tend to 
excite devotion. Each of these arguments is separately 
examined, and shewn to be without any solid foundation. 
In replying to the last, Hetzer indignantly exclaims, " 
hypocrite ! If thou couldst collect all thy images into one 
bundle, they would not make thee better by the value of 
a single hair." 

On one occasion, he publicly interrupted Conrad von 
Machswanden in the midst of his sermon, in order to set 
him right on a point of doctrine ; and when a complaint 
was made to the council, he defended himself boldly and 

In the year 1525, when Urbanus Rhegius had been 
preaching against Carlstadt and his party, from the words, 
" the flesh profiteth nothing," (John vi. 63,) Hetzer, in con- 
versation, found fault with the sermon, and turned it into 

Art 5.] JOHN DENCK. 417 

ridicule. He also charged Ambrose Blaurer with having 
given false and blundering explanations of certain passages 
of Scripture. It is by no means surprising, that one, who 
was so much the creature of impulse, should sometimes 
involve himself in trouble : nor can we wonder, that, in 
those stirring times, such a man should at last have to pay 
the penalty of his rashness at the stake, or upon the scaf- 

ViDEND. Sandii B. A. pp. 16, 17. Bock, Hist. Ant T. II. pp. 231 
— ^238. Trechselj Mich. Servet und seine Vorganger, S. 13—16. 
Apocalypsis, or a Revelation of certain notorious Advancers of Uere- 
sie, &ithfully and impartially translated out of I<atin by J. D, [John 
Ikivies]. Lond. 1658, 12mo. Ed. 2, pp. 66, 67. Seckendorf, Hist. 
Luth. L. ii. p. 145. Henr, Ottii Hist Anabapt ad An. 1529, § 4. 
Museum Helveticum, T. VI. pp. 101. 109, 110. HotUnger, Hist £c- 
cles. Helvet P. ill. p. 498. 


John Denck, (Germ. Hans Dengck,) was the inti- 
mate friend of Lewis Hetzer. Scultetus calls him a Bava- 
rian ; and describes him as a learned man, and a skilful 
Hebraist, but says that he was of a melancholy tempera^ 
meat. According to some, he was bom in the Upper Pa- 
latinate, which now forms part of the circles of the Regen 
and the Upper Maine, in Bavaria. Having been removed, 
by the Chief Magistrate of the town of Nuremberg, from 
the office of Rector of the School of St. Sebald, in the 
year 15^, he was ordered to leave the place before sunset. 
From Nuremberg he went into Switzerland, where he con- 
tinued to reside, for the most part, during the rest of his 
life. At St. Gall, and subsequently at Basle, he was em- 
ployed as a corrector of the press ; and during his residence 
at the latter place he formed an intimate acquaintance with 

In 1526, he began to assist Hetzer in his translation of 
the Prophets, which was published in the year following ; 

VOL. I. 2 I 

418 JOHN DENCK. \_Art 5. 

and in 1528, he died of the plague at Basle. The book of 
Micah was rendered by Denck into German, as appears 
from a work in the Royal Library at Konigsberg, entitled, 
*^ Micha der Prophet, wie der Hans Dengck uff diese Zeit 
verglichen hat, u. s. w. Strassburg, Jacob. Cammer.** (a 
contraction of the name Cammerlander). 8yo* The date 
of the impression is not mentioned ; but it is supposed to 
have been printed in 1527. 

A copy of another scarce work of Denck's is preserved 
in the same Library, and bears the following title. ** Von 
dem Gsetz Oottes, wie das aufgehaben sey und doch erfdllt 
werden muss. Hans Dengck.*' 8vo. 

Six theological and ascetic tracts, having the name of 
Denck in the title-page, were published at Amsterdam 
in 1680, ISmo. ; and the translators of an edition of the 
whole Bible into German, which was printed at Worms in 
1529, are commonly supposed to have been Hetzer and 
Denck. But as Hetzer was decapitated on the 4^ of Feb. 
in that year, and Denck died in the year preceding, the 
German Bible above mentioned, although it may have 
been begun by them, was probably continued, and carried 
through the press by others, whom they had associated 
with themselves in that imdertaking. 

No mention is made of Denck by Sandius, or any of 
those, who profess to have written a history of Unitarianism, 
before the time of Bock ; but there can be no doubt that 
he ought to be ranked among the number of Antitrinita- 
rians. In his " Ordnung Gottes und der Creaturen Wort," 
he taught that God is the foimtain of all created existences; 
that the Spirit or Power of God ranks next to God in the 
scale of being ; and then the Word, which God generated 
by his Spirit. But by " the Word " he understood the 
souls of men, and not the Son of God. He believed, there- 
fore, that this Word began to exist with the human race. 

Art. 5.] JOHN DENCK. 419 

He altogether denied the real presence of the body of 
Christ in the Lord's Supper, and taught that Christians 
partake of it only in a spiritual sense. He is said also to 
have rejected the doctrine of a plenary satisfaction by 
Christ ; and it is well known, that he revived Origen's doc- 
trine of Universal Restoration. 

It has been customary to class Denck with the German 
Anabaptists ; but he joined no sect, and contended that 
eternal salvation might be attained by the members of every 
sect. Hetzer and he acquired great celebrity in Switzer- 
land, and the neighbouring countries ; and it has been 
thought by some to have been partly owing to their fame 
being spread through the provinces of Italy, that Unita- 
rianism found so many revivers and defenders in the Italian 
states, soon after the breaking out of the Reformation. 

If we are to credit the accounts of Wigand and Sculte- 
tus, Denck was prevailed upon by CEcolampadius, a short 
time before his death, to abandon some of the more extra- 
vagant of his opinions ; but it does not appear that any 
change took place in his sentiments respecting the Trinity, 
and the Deity of Christ. 

At Worms, where Denck and Hetzer remained some 
time, while their German translation of the Prophets was 
being printed, there was a yoimg evangeUcal preacher, of 
the name of James Kautz, of Bockenheim, who embraced 
their opinions with great ardour, and stood forward as their 
avowed advocate. He vehemently assailed some of the 
popular doctrines, in Seven Theses, which he defended at 
Worms, on the 13th of Jime, 1527, and made generally 
known through the medium of the press. This attracted 
the attention of the preachers at Strasburg, who felt them- 
selves called upon to publish an answer, which might ope- 
rate as a warning to their people. The reply prepared on 
this occasion is supposed to have been drawn up by Bucer. 

2i 2 

420 MICHAEL SERVETUS. [^Art. 6. 

But it had not the effect of silencing Kautz, who continued 
to attack what he deemed the popular errors, at Worms 
and elsewhere, till he was apprehended, and lodged in pri- 
son at Strasburg. This was about the beginning of the 
year 1529. In the mean time Denck and Hetzer had left 
Alsace, and gone into the neighbourhood of Nuremberg. 
But when the circumstance of Hetzer having impugned the 
doctrine of Christ's Divinity from the press became known, 
they both found it expedient to make the best of their way 
back into Switzerland. Denck went to Basle, where he 
was soon carried off by the plague ; and Hetzer took up 
his abode in the neighbourhood of Constance, where he 
shortly afterwards suffered a violent death at the hands of 
the executioner.* 

ViDKND. Bock, Hist Ant T. I. p. 244 ; II. pp. 238—243. Treehsel, 
Mich. Servet und seine Vorganger,' S. 16—24. 


Michael Servetus, ( Hispanici^ Servedo,) was bom 
in the year 1509, at Villanueva, a town of Arragon, in 
Spain. Sometimes he called himself ii^e*, a word formed 
by the transposition of the name Servedo or Servetus^ omit- 
ting the termination. He received the rudiments of his 
education at a monastery in his native province, after which 
he devoted himself to the study of the law at the University 
of Toulouse, which was then in deservedly high repute, as 
a place of education for those who were destined for the 
legal profession. But having heard of the breaking out of 
the Reformation, he betook himself to the study of the 
Scriptures, in the perusal of which he found many things 
at variance with the commonly-received faith. This dis- 
covery had such a powerful effect upon his mind, that he 
resolved to abandon the profession for which his friends 

• Appendix, No. iii. 


had destined him, and devote himself to the dissemination 
of purer views of Christianity. 

He commenced his labours in the South of France ; but 
finding that his efforts were not attended with the success 
which he had anticipated, on account of the opposition of 
the priesthood in that country, he resolved to proceed to 
Germany, where greater freedom of opinion was allowed, 
and where the cause of the Reformation had already made 
considerable progress. Having left Toulouse, therefore, 
where he had been resident about three years, he travelled, 
by way of Lyons and Geneva, to Basle, in Switzerland, 
intending to pass on to Strasburg the first convenient 
opportunity. During his stay at Basle he had several reli- 
gious discussions with CEcolampadius, in which he argued 
against the doctrine of two natures in the person of Christ, 
denied that Jesus preexisted as the Son of God, and con^i- 
tended that the Jewish prophets uniformly spoke of the 
Son of God in the future tense. 

An idle story was propagated by the enemies of Servetus, 
that he visited Africa, and derived his religious notions 
from the Jews and Turks residing in that country. To 
this disposition on the part of his contemporaries, to rank 
him among Jews and Mahometans, Servetus alludes more 
than once, in the course of his writings. " Some," says 
he, (Dialog, de Trinitate, L. ii. fol. 57,) ** are scandalized 
at my calling Christ the prophet. Because they happen 
not themselves to apply to him this epithet, they fancy 
that all who do so are chargeable with Judaism and Maho- 
metanism, regardless of the fact, that the Scriptures and 
ancient writers call him the prophet.*' It has been sug- 
gested that the circumstance of Servetus*s having been 
bom in Spain may have given currency to the above 
rumour, since that country, besides containing many per- 
sons of the Jewish persuasion, lies directly opposite to 


422 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. [^Art 6. 

the coast of Africa, where Mahometanism is the prevailing 
religion : but it seems more probable that the charge ori- 
ginated in a perversion of passages, occurring in Servetus*s 
own writings, in which he alludes fiuniliarly to the Tahnud 
and the Koran, speaks of the doctrine of the Trinity as 
affording matter for derision to the followers of Mahomet, 
and says that the Jews ridicule the folly of the Christians 
for their belief in this dogma, and are prevented by such 
blasphemies from acknowledging Jesus, as the Messiah 
promised in their Law. 

Servetus left Basle in 1530 or 1531 ; for he found that 
the doctrines which he taught were not more acceptable to 
the Protestants of that city, than they had been to the 
Catholics in the South of France. From Basle he pro- 
ceeded to Strasburg, where he sought an interview with 
Bucer and Capito, who were then residing in that city. 
Capito, if we may judge from the silence of the writers 
who allude to this interview, saw little, or nothing to cen- 
sure in the opinions of Servetus ; but Bucer appears, from 
a passage in one of Calvin's letters, to have been completely 
horror-stricken when he heard them, and to have publicly 
declared, that the man who could hold such opinions de- 
served to have his bowels plucked out, and to be torn limb 
from limb. Servetus's stay at Strasburg was short. As 
his usual occupations were entirely of a literary nature, and 
he had no knowledge of the German language, he was im- 
able to procure a livelihood in that city, and therefore soon 
quitted it, and returned to Lyons. 

Before this time, he had been somewhat guarded in the 
dissemination of his opinions ; for he repeatedly declared, 
in his supplicatory letters to the Senate of Geneva, that 
his religious discussions in Germany were entirely confined 
to CEcolampadius, Bucer and Capito. If, however, we are 
to give credit to Zeltner, Spanheim and Beza, he was 


actiYely employed in diflPiising his sentiments in France, as 
early as the year 15S3. But at that time he was a boy of 
fourteen years of age, and it is scarcely credible that he 
should have commenced the office of Reformer at so early 
a period of life as this. Bullinger fixes the time of his first 
appearance, as an avowed opponent of the doctrine of the 
Trinity, five years later : but he also seems to have fallen 
into an error, for Servetus's work " De Trinitatis Errori- 
bus" was not published tilll531, before which time, all that 
he had advanced upon the subject was in the way either of 
private conversation, or correspondence with literary men. 
When he was about to leave Basle, he consigned the 
above-mentioned work to the hands of Conrad Rouss, the 
printer, with a view to its publication: but Rouss, not 
being able to elude the vigilance of the Swiss clergy, sent 
the manuscript to Hagenau in Alsace, where it was printed 
under the immediate superintendence of its author, who 
had removed thither fix>m Strasburg for that purpose. It 
found a ready sale, and was perused and approved by im- 
mense numbers, particularly in Germany. The majority 
of Christians, however, as might have been anticipated, 
joined in its condemnation. The leaders among the re- 
formed party in Switzerland were apprehensive that its 
appearance might prejudice the cause of Luther, and his 
associates, in the eyes of the Christian world. CEcolam- 
padius, in a letter addressed to Bucer, and written August 
Sth, 1531, says, "I have seen our Bernese friends this 
week, who desire to be remembered to you and Capito. 
The treatise *De Trinitatis Erroribus,' which has been 
seen only by some of them, has given very great offence. 
I wish you would write, and tell Luther, that the book 
was printed out of this country, and unknown to us. For, 
to say the least, it was an impudent thing to charge the 
Lutherans with ignorance on the subject of Justification. 

424 MICHAEL SERVETU8. \_Art. 6. 

But that Photinian, or whatever else we may call him, 
fancies that no one knows anything but himself. If he is 
not disowned by the Divines of our Church, we shall 
get into very bad repute. I entreat you especially to be 
watchful ; and if you do it nowhere else, at least apologize 
for our Churches in your confutation addressed to die 
Emperor, however this beast may have crept in among us. 
He perverts every thing to suit his own purpose, merely 
to avoid the confession, that the Son is coetemal and con- 
substantial with the Father ; and it is he who undertakes 
to prove that the man Christ is the Son of God." Serve- 
tus*s book was suppressed at Ratisbon, A. D. 1532; and 
CEcolampadius, in compliance with the wishes of the Magis- 
trates of Basle, publicly denoimced it as a pernicious work, 
in a speech delivered in the presence of the Senate. He 
also wrote two letters to Servetus himself, in which he 
repUed to the arguments contained in his book, and urged 
him to renounce his supposed errors. 

Servetus now began to suspect, that men's minds were 
not yet prepared for a full disclosure of the truth ; and in 
order to allay the ferment which he had excited, he pub- 
lished, at Hagenau, A. D. 1532, "Two Dialogues on the 
Trinity," in which he strove to soften down some of the 
expressions, which he had used in his former work. At 
the beginning of these Dialogues he says, " I now retract 
all that I lately wrote against the received doctrine of the 
Trinity, not because it is false, but because it is imperfect, 
and composed by a child for the use of children. That my 
former book went forth into the world so barbarous, con- 
fused and incorrect, must be ascribed to my own inex- 
perience, and the carelessness of my printer." But Serve- 
tus's attempts to rectify the mistakes, to improve upon the 
style, and to elucidate the argument of his former publi- 
cation, tended only to exasperate and enflame tlie minds 

Art 6.] MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. 425 

of his opponents ; and passages not imfrequently occur in 
the theological writings of his contemporaries, in which 
they inveigh with great bitterness against him, and his 
doctrines. The Protestants of that age appear' to have 
been seized with a pious horror, at the thought of submit- 
ting the doctrine of the Trinity to the test of argimient ; 
and Servetus, who had not only done this, but done it in 
a bold and uncompromising spirit, brought down upon him- 
self the whole weight of their vengeance. They feared 
that the agitation of this question would prejudice the 
cause of the Reformation in the eyes of their Catholic 
brethren; and laboured, with all their might, to silence 
those, who had the temerity to transgress the prescribed 
bounds of Trinitarian orthodoxy. But the more discerning 
among them foresaw, that, in spite of all the efforts which 
were made to put down Servetus, the great controversy, 
which he had started, would one day or other embroil the 
Christian world in disputes, of which it was impossible to 
predict the issue. Melanchthon, writing to Camerarius on 
this subject, Feb. 25th, 1533, expresses himself in the fol- 
lowing terms. " You ask my opinion about Servetus. I 
find him sufficiently acute and cunning in argument ; but 
I cannot allow him the praise of solidity. He seems to 
me to labour under a confusion of ideas, and not to have 
very clear notions of the matter upon which he treats. On 
the subject of Justification he evidently ventures beyond 
his depth. With respect to the Trinity, you know I was 
always apprehensive that these things would sooner or later 
break out. Good God ! What tragedies will this ques- 
tion excite. among posterity, — whether the Logos is an 
hypostasis, and whether the Holy Spirit is an hjrpostasis ? 
I satisfy myself with those words of Scripture, which com- 
mand us to invoke Christ, which is to attribute to him the 
honour of divinity, and is full of consolation.*' 

426 MICHAEL SERYETUS. [^Art. 6. 

Servetus remained at Lyons between two and three years, 
and seems to have supported himself there as a conrector 
of the press. From Lyons he removed to Paris, where he 
took up the profession of Medicine, to whidi he devoted 
himself with such assiduity, under the direction of Silvius, 
Femel, and other eminent Professors, that he was soon 
enabled to take his Doctor's d^ree. It was during his 
residence at Paris, that he first became personally known 
to Calvin, with whom he was anxious to hold a religious 
discussion : but his own inclination being probably over- 
ruled by the advice of his friends, the discussion never took 
place. This was in the year 1534^ It appears, however, 
that he had returned to Lyons in the year following, wh^e 
he ^ employed in superintending the pubUcation of an 
edition of ** Ptolemy's Geography." In the Prefiice to this 
work, he speaks of having visited Italy, and being acquaint^ 
ed with the Italian language. This journey into Italy has 
been entirely overlooked by many of his biogn^hers ; and 
is not even mentioned by De la Roche, whose account of 
him is, on the whole, drawn up with great accuracy. Ser- 
vetus himself alludes to it, not only in the Preface to his 
edition of Ptolemy, as has been already observed, but in 
his " Christianismi Restitutio," where he says, that he has 
" seen with his own eyes, in the streets of Rome, the Pope 
treading upon the necks of Princes, and receiving homage 
from all the people upon their bended knees." According 
to Calvin, this journey into Italy took place in the year of 
Servetus's death. But this is evidently a mistake. It must 
have been at least as early as the year 1535. The most 
probable opinion is, that it occurred about the beginning 
of 1530, when, in the dress of a Dominican Friar, he is said 
to have witnessed the coronation of Charles V. 

In 1537, he gave to the world his first medical treatise, 
entitled, " Ratio Syruporum," imder the name of Michael 

Art. 6.] MICHAEL 8ERVETUS. 427 

Villanovanus. Of this treatise Anthony Van der Linden, 
the author of a work *' De Medicis Scriptis/* speaks in the 
highest terms, styling its author '' Graleni interpres doctis- 
simus, et Medicus excellentissimus.** 

At this time, no notice had been taken, by Luther, of Ser- 
vetus's writings against the doctrine of the Trinity. Even 
when professedly treating upon that subject, he maintained 
the most profound silence respecting Servetus : nor did he 
make the most distant allusion to him, in his Commentary 
on the Proem of John's Gospel, where he has spared neither 
heresies, nor heretics. At length, however, he made men- 
tion of him in the year 1539; and classed him, together 
with Campanus, among the enemies of the Gospel. Dif- 
ferent reasons have been assigned, to account for Luther*s 
silence on a subject, which appeared at least to call for 
some incidental notice. His own mind, it has been sup- 
posed, was still wavering. His silence also has been attri- 
buted to a feeling of contempt for Servetus. But the most 
natural solution of the difficulty appears to be, that Luther 
was restrained from intermeddling with so delicate a sub- 
ject, by the advice of his friend Melanchthon, lest it should 
be a means of hastening on that grand controversy, which 
the latter so much dreaded to encounter, and which he ex- 
pected would be the occasion of so much persecution and 
bloodshed. The die, however, was cast. Servetus*s con- 
troversial writings were already disseminated far and wide ; 
and that prudence, which had before dictated silence, now 
seemed to call for active interference. 

The very same year that witnessed Luther's attack upon 
Campanus and Servetus, produced a similar attack from 
the pen of Melanchthon, who wrote to the Senate of Venice 
a letter of complaint on the subject of Servetus's work 
" De Trinitatis Erroribus," which was widely circulated in 
that part of Italy, and which he denounced, as a most here- 

428 MICHAEL SERTETUS. [^Art. 6. 

tical and dangerous book. From the study of this book, 
it is not improbable that Lselius Socinus^ the father of 
the Italian Unitarians, received his first impressions of 
the erroneousness of the doctrine of the Trinity, Of this, 
however, we shall probably have occasion to say more here- 

In the year 1540, Servetus was practising as a physician 
at Charlieu, a town in the south of France ; and two or 
three years later we find him at Vienne, superintending the 
publication of a Folio edition of Pagninus's Bible. This 
Bible was printed by Hugh de la Porte at Lyons, and bore 
the following title. "Biblia Sacra ex Sanctis Pagnini 
Translatione, sed ad Hebraicse Linguae amussim ita recog- 
nita, et Scholiis illustrata, ut plane nova Editio videri 
possit." Servetus wrote a Preface to it, and added a few 
notes. Calvin calls them impertinent and impious notes ; 
and says that Servetus obtained the sum of five hundred 
livres for writing them. Servetus supposed, as appears 
from the Preface, that all the prophecies of the Old Testa- 
ment, which are usually thought to relate to Christ, were 
literally fulfilled in some other person, and were applied 
to him only in a figurative, or spiritual sense. His notes 
are principally confined to the Psalms, and the Books of 
the Prophets ; but there are a few also upon the Historical 
Books. The latter generally give a clearer explanation of 
the Hebrew words ; and sometimes, though very seldom, 
contain historical remarks. It is not till he comes to the 
Psalms, that he begins to unfold his opinion respecting 
the passages, usually applied to Jesus Christ. Of the second 
Psalm he says, that it treats of David's liberation from his 
enemies. ("Ad diem Resurrectionis Christi vocem 'hodie' 
[v. 7] refert Paulus, sicut in die qua evasit ab hoste, dici- 
tur David hodie natus, et hodie denuo factus Rex.") 
He explains the twenty-second of David's fiight over rocks 


and precipices, which lacerated his hands and feet. (" Fu- 
giente Davide per abrupta instar quadrupedis, manus ejus 
et pedes perforabantur. Unde et Hebraei legirnt ' quasi 
Leonis manus meae et pedes mei.'" Ps. xxii. 16.) The 
prophecy in Isaiah vii. 14, he applies to the birth of Heze- 
kiah. {'* Ostendit ad literam ipsam Abiam praesentem et 
parituram Ezechiam.'*) And he makes a similar applica- 
tion of the word " Emmanuel," in Isaiah viii. 10. (" Quia 
nobiscum JDeus. — Quia. ' Immanuel,' id est quia Deus est 
cum Ezechia contra Assyrios.") 

These notes gave great offence both to Protestants and 
Catholics, and the edition was condemned in the Expur- 
gatory Indexes of Quiroga and Sottomaior. Yet Protest- 
ants and Catholics of great eminence have since adopted 
the very same principle of interpretation. Grotius main- 
tained that the predictions of Isaiah related, in their pri- 
mary and literal sense, to the times and circumstances of 
the Jewish people, but that they respected the Messiah, in 
a secondary and allegorical sense. Simon advocated the 
same opinion. But Father Baltus, the Jesuit, denounces 
this, as a Socinian mode of expounding the prophecies. 
We are nevertheless indebted to Dr. George Benson, a 
learned Unitarian writer of the last century, for one of the 
ablest treatises ever published on the other side of the 
question. (An Essay concerning the Unity of Sense ; to 
shew that no Text of Scripture has more than one single 
Sense. — This Essay was originally prefixed to Dr. Benson's 
Paraphrase on Paul's Epistles ; and was afterwards reprinted 
in the 4th Vol. of Watson's Theol. Tracts, pp. 481—513.) 
After replying to all the argimients alleged in favour of a 
double sense, Dr. B. comes to the conclusion, that " no 
text of Scripture has more than one meaning ;" and, what 
is perhaps still more remarkable. Dr. J. Pye Smith, the 
highest authority among the English Calvinists of the pre- 


430 MICHAEL SERYETUS. [^Art. 6. 

sent day, adopts the very principle of interpretation, whidi 
Calvin himself alleged as one of the greatest aggravations 
of Servetus's offence against orthodoxy. (The Scripture 
Testimony to the Messiah, &c., by John Pye Smitii, D.D., 
2nd Ed. London, 1829, Vol. I. Book ii. Ch. iv. Sect xix. ; 
Vol. II. Book iii. Chap. i. pp. 23, 24.) 

" It is well known," says Allwoerden, " that Calvin, in 
his charges against Servetus, included his edition of Pagni- 
nns*s Bible, and particularly his annotation on Isaiah liiL*' 
(Hist. Mich. Serveti, p. 167.) The following is the passage 
to which allusion is here made. ** Quis credidit auditui 
nottro^ &c. Incredibilis res de Cyro, et magnum etiam 
mysterium, quod sub humilibus Historise typis lateant 
Christi arcana sublimia. Ibidem. Fulneratus est propter 
pnevaricationet nostras. Quasi exigentibus populi pecca- 
tis interfectum Cyrum deflet Propheta, eo quod postea 
sub Cambyse multo detenus habuerint, impedita tunc et 
diruta Templi sedificatione jam inchoata, Daniel ix. Fuit- 
que hsec a Deo data occasio prsedicandi passionem Christi, 
cui soli convenit horum verborum sublimitas et Veritas." 

Soon after Servetus began to practise as a Physician, he 
met with his former friend and pupil, Peter Palmier, Arch- 
bishop of Yienne, who strongly urged him to settie at that 
place, and offered him an apartment in his own house. 
This proposal Servetus was induced to accept; and here 
he continued to live, in good practice, and upon the most 
friendly terms with his patron, till his repose was destroyed 
by the machinations of his arch enemy. It was not till 
after a period of thirteen years, spent in the greatest har- 
mony, in the society, and under the roof of a Catholic Pre- 
late, that Calvin was able to mature the plan, which he 
had formed for the destruction of Servetus. "Calvin," 
says Daniel Chamier, of Dauphiny, " not only professed a 
belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, but defended it with 

Art 6.] MICHAEL SEEVETU8. 431 

the greatest constancy, while the Papists were slumbering, 
among whom, as long as Servetus lived, he lived in safety : 
but at length he was made by Calvin to feel the force of 
truth, and when he came to Geneva, was visited with a 
holy severity by the pious Magistrates of that city." Calvin 
kept up a long correspondence with him, and endeavoured, 
as he says in his '* Fidelis Expositio," for the space of six- 
teen years, to reclaim him from his errors ; and Servetus 
consulted Calvin on several points, and sent him the three 
following questicHis, to which he asked for as many sepa^ 
rate answers* ^'1. An homo Jesus crucifixus sit Filius 
Dei ; et quae sit hujus filiationis ratio ? II. An Regnum 
Christi sit in hominibus; quando quis ingrediatur, et 
quando regeneretur ? III. An Baptismus Christi debeat 
in fide fieri, sicut Coena; et quorsum hsec instituta sint 
fcedere novo ?" To these questions Calvin replied, as he 
was requested to do ; but Servetus was not satisfied with 
his answers, and in a subsequent letter assigned reasons for 
disagreeing with him in opinion. This excited the severe 
displeasure of Calvin, who was not accustomed to have his 
dicta disputed. Accordingly he wrote, as he admits, an 
angry reply to Servetus ; and Servetus defended himself in 
a spirited, and somewhat intemperate manner. From this 
time, according to Calvin, commenced a dislike to him, on 
the part of Servetus, which often vented itself in bitter 
imprecations. But Calvin, among whose good qualities 
that of Christian meekness was not conspicuous, repaid the 
abuse of Servetus with interest. 

Bolsec informs us, that, as much as seven years before 
the death of Servetus, Calvin declared in a letter to Peter 
Viret, that if he should ever come to Geneva, he would 
not allow him to return from it alive ; and Varillas a£Srms, 
that there is at Paris an original letter of Calvin to Farel, 
written in 1546, which was never printed, and that these 

432 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. \^Art 6. 

words are to be found in it. *' Servetus has lately written 
to me, and sent me at the same time a large book, stuffed 
with idle fancies, and full of arrogance. He says I shall 
find in it admirable things, and such as have been hitherto 
unheard of. He offers to come hither, if I like it : but I 
will not engage my word ; for if he comes, and if any 
regard be had to my authority, I wiU not allow him to 
escape with his life.*' 

Grotius alludes to this letter, as being at Paris, in Cal- 
vin's own hand-writing. (" Extat ipsius Lutetian manus.") 
The cause of its being written was the determination of 
Servetus to publish sr third work against the Trinity. In 
the year 1546, he sent to Calvin a manuscript copy of this 
work, requesting him to give his opinion as to its merits. 
It has been supposed that this manuscript contained the 
original draught of the *' Christianismi Restitutio." But 
Calvin was so much incensed at the freedom which Servetus 
had taken in some of his remarks, that he ever afterwards 
inveighed against him with the greatest bitterness; and 
came, as we have seen above, to the deliberate determina- 
tion of plotting his destruction. 

This determination could not be carried into effect at 
once ; nor would Calvin, perhaps, have been able to accom- 
plish it at all, had not Servetus, in his zeal for the truth, 
and his indignation against error, ventured upon the pub- 
lication of the " Christianismi Restitutio." His avowed 
object in the composition of this book was to bring back 
the Christian world to what he conceived to be the primi- 
tive standard of faith ; and it was for this reason that he 
entitled it " The Restoration of Christianity." It consists 
of seven parts. The first and last of these are particularly 
devoted to the doctrine of the Trinity ; and the fifth con- 
tains a series of thirty letters addressed to Calvin on doc- 
trinal subjects. No author's name is given in the title- 

Art. 6.] MICHAEL SERVETUS. • 433 

page ; but M. S. V., the initial letters of Michael Servettn 
VUlanovanus, are placed, together with the date, [1553,] 
at the end of the work. It was no sooner published, than 
the most strenuous efforts were made, both by Catholics 
and Protestants, to suppress it ; and with such effect, that 
not more than two copies are now known to exist. A 
fac-eimile of it was published in 1791 ; but copies of this 
are almost as seldom to be met with as the original. 

It was in the " Christianismi Restitutio" that Servetus 
promulgated his discovery of the circulation of the blood. 
This discovery he beautifully unfolds in a passage, which 
IS too long to be transferred to the present biographical 
sketch; and from which, therefore, the following brief, 
and necessarily imperfect extracts only are taken. " Cor est 
primiun vivens, fons caloris, in medio corpore. Ab hepate 
sumit liquorem vitse, quasi materiam et eum vice versa 
vivificat." "Vitalis spiritus in sinistro cordis ventriculo 
8uam originem habet, juvantibus maxime pulmonibus ad 
ipdus generationem.** ''Ille itaque spiritus vitalis a si- 
nistro cordis ventriculo, in arterias totius corporis deinde 

Calvin, who was always on the watch for something by 
which he might criminate Servetus, soon gave out, that this 
work was written by him; and availing himself of the 
assistance of one William Trie, a native of Lyons, who was 
at that time residing at Geneva, he caused Servetus to be 
apprehended, and thrown into prison, on a charge of heresy. 
Some of the firiends and disciples of Calvin have attempted 
to free him from this odious imputation, and he has him- 
self represented it as a caliunny : but the fact, that Serve- 
tus was imprisoned at the sole instigation of Calvin, is too 
well established to admit of dispute. Abundant proofs of 
it may be found in the accounts of De la Roche, Allwoer- 
den, Mosheim, Bock and Trechsel. 

VOL. I. 2 k 

434 MICHAEL SERVETU8. [ilrt. 6. 

Servetiis had adopted the name of VUlanovanus at least 
twenty years before the publication of his '^ Christianismi 
Restitutio ;** and it was scarcely known that Villanovanut 
and Servettu were the same person, till Calvin, with studied 
malignity, wrote to his friends to inform them, that " Ser- 
vetus was lurking in France under a feigned name.*' In 
order to prove this identity, William Trie was furnished 
by Calvin with some of Servetus's original letters, which 
were transmitted to Vienne; and the evidence supplied 
by them being conclusive of the fact, Servetiis was appre- 
hended, and committed to prison without delay. But 
having so long, and so reputably exercised bis profession 
of a Physician in that town, M. De la Court, Vice-bailiff 
and Judge of Dauphiny, gave orders to his gaoler to treat 
him with kindness, and permitted all his Mends who wished 
it to have access to him. After undergoing three separate 
examinations, in the last of which he acknowledged himself 
the author of the letters to Calvin, he saw that his life was 
in jeopardy ; and availing himself of a suitable opportunity, 
effected his escape. His intention now was to settle as a 
Physician at Naples, where his countryman, Signor John 
Valdez, had already sown the seeds of the Reformation. 
But he was induced, by some strange fatality, to go by 
way of Geneva ; and Calvin, who had heard of his escape 
from Vienne, and of the probability of his passing through 
Geneva on his way into Italy, was on the watch for him, 
and caused him to be apprehended soon after his arrival. 

He entered Geneva on foot, having walked from a place 
called Le Luyset, where he had spent the previous night ; 
and probably thinking that a pedestrian would attract less 
notice, than a person travelling on horseback, or in a car- 
riage. He took up his abode for the day at the Rose Inn, 
and meant to have hired a boat on the day following, in 
his way to Zurich. But Calvin having learned that he 

Art 6.] MICHAEL 8ERVETUS. 435 

was in the city, made the chief Syndic acquainted with the 
fact, and caused him to be apprehended, and committed to 
prison. It is uncertain on what day of the month this hap- 
pened ; but a report got abroad, that it was on the Lord*s- 
day, and that Servetus was apprehended at Church, during 
the time of sermon. It appears, however, from his own 
confession, that he did not leave his inn, for fear of being 

The laws of Geneva forbade that any one should be 
imprisoned, unless his accuser were imprisoned with him. 
Calvin, therefore, prevailed upon one Nicholas de la Fon- 
taine, a native of the Isle of France, to undertake the office 
of prosecutor. In what relation this man stood to Calvin 
has never been clearly ascertained. Some say that he was 
a cook in a gentleman's family. Others are of opinion that 
he was Calvin's own cook. De la Roche conjectures that 
he united, in his own person, the two characters of a stu- 
dent and a domestic. But whatever was the precise rela^ 
tion in which he stood to Calvin, it is evident, from a 
petition which Servetus presented to the Magistrates of 
Geneva, that Calvin was, in some sense, his master. 

This man, on the 14th of August, 1553, brought a for- 
mal accusation against Servetus, comprising no less than 
thirty-eight separate charges, to each of which he urged 
the Senate to demand a distinct answer. The thirty-seventh 
set forth, that Servetus, in a printed book, had defamed 
the doctrine preached by Calvin, and decried and calumni- 
ated it in every possible way, contrary to a decree, passed 
on the 9th of November in the preceding year, which had 
pronounced that doctrine sacred and inviolable. When Ser- 
vetus had briefly replied to the charges exhibited against 
him, his accuser produced a copy of the " Christianismi 
Restitutio," and likewise the manuscript work, which Ser- 
vetus had sent to Calvin about six years before, and to 


436 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. \^Art. 6. 

which allusion has already been made. Of both these Ser- 
vetus acknowledged himself to be the author. His prose- 
cutor then laid before the Senate copies of "Ptolemy's 
Geography," and "Pagninus's Bible," which had been 
edited by Servetus ; and demanded, whether he was the 
writer of the notes contained in those two works : to which 
Servetus replied in the affirmative. The accuser and ac- 
cused were then both remanded to prison ; but the former 
was discharged on the fourth day, Calvin's own brother 
giving bail for his appearance, whenever he should be called 
upon by the proper authorities. 

On the 15th of August, (which was the second day of 
the preliminary examination,) Servetus was again brought 
to the bar, and again replied to the interrogatories of his 
accuser ; answering some in the affirmative, and others in 
the negative, as on the preceding day. 

On the third day, (August 16th,) La Fontaine entered 
into court, accompanied by M. Germain Colladon ; and pas- 
sages were produced &om the writings of Servetus, in con- 
firmation of the charges alleged against him. But when 
they had gone through the first eleven Articles, the court 
adjourned to the following day. In the mean time La 
Fontaine presented a petition to the Judges, in which he 
besought them to demand from Servetus a distinct, cate- 
gorical answer to each separate article ; and requested, that 
if, on examination, they should be satisfied of his guilt, 
and think it right to prosecute him by their Attorney, they 
would issue a declaration to that efiect. 

The next day, (August 17th,) La Fontaine and Colladon 
referred to two letters of CEcolampadius, and two passages 
in the writings of Melanchthon, for the purpose of proving 
that Servetus had been condemned in Germany ; to which 
he replied, that CEcolampadius and Melanchthon had in- 
deed written against him, but that no definitive sentence 


had been pronounced. On the third Article, a passage 
was produced from Servetus's Preface to " Ptolemy's Geo- 
graphy/' containing an alleged calumny against Moses, 
respecting the fertility of Palestine; and other passages 
from his Notes on Isaiah vii., viii., and liii. On the sixth 
Article, passages were quoted from the " Christianismi 
Restitutio," (fol. 22 to 36,) in which he calls the Trinity 
a Cerberus^ a dream of St, Atyttstine, and an invention of 
the JDevil ;.ajid believers in it, Tritheists. On the same 
day his accusers brought forward several passages from his 
printed books, and manuscripts, containing alleged heretical 
expressions; and upon the thirty-seventh Article, they 
produced a manuscript letter of Servetus to M. Abel Pepin, 
a Minister of Geneva, written more than six years before 
his apprehension, and a copy of Calvin's "Institutions," 
the margin of which was covered with notes in Servetus's 
own hand-writing. To such of these Articles as appeared 
to him to require special notice, he replied ; and on the 
same day he admitted, that his printer had sent several 
copies of the " Christianismi Restitutio" to Frankfort. 

On the 21st of August, his accusers produced in court a 
letter of Balthasar Amollet, the printer of his " Chris- 
tianismi Restitutio." This letter was written on the pre- 
ceding 14th of July, and addressed to James Bertet, at 
Chatillon. The writer informs his friend, that Gueroult, 
who had corrected the press, when the above work was 
printed, concealed from him the errors which it contained ; 
and even expressed a wish to translate it into French. 
Amollet further requests Bertet to go to Frankfort, stop 
the sale of the copies which were lying there, and cause 
them to be destroyed. When this letter had been read, 
Calvin entered the court, attended by all the Ministers of 
Geneva ; and after a long discussion with Servetus respect- 
ing the opinions of the Fathers, he and his brother Ministers 


438 MICHAEL SERVETU8. [^rt 6. 

retired. Calvin had brought with him copies of the writ- 
ings of Tertullian and Irenseus, and the Epistles of Igna- 
tius, the use of which, after he had left the court, was 
allowed to Servetus. The accused was also furnished with 
pen, ink and paper, to draw up a petition, which he pre- 
sented to his Judges on the day following. 

On the 23rd of August, Servetus was brought to the 
bar, and interrogated by the Procureur General, who ex- 
hibited thirty new Articles against him, relating chiefly to 
his personal history. 

On the S8th of the same month, the Lieutenant brought 
in thirty-eight Articles, about which he desired that the 
prisoner might be examined. These Articles were subjoined 
to a long preamble of the Procureur General, the design 
of which was to shew, that Servetus ought to be put to 

On the last day of the month of August, the Syndic and 
Council of Geneva received a letter from the Vice-Bailifi*, 
and the King's Attorney at Vienne, dated the 26th of the 
same month, thanking them for their vigilance in apprehend- 
ing Servetus, and for detaining him as their prisoner ; and 
requesting them to send him back to Vienne, in order that 
they might carry into execution their sentence against him. 
This day was chiefly employed in interrogating Servetus 
on matters arising out of the subject of this letter. 

On the 1st of September, he was asked to mention the 
names of those who were in debt to him in France, but 
declined. On the same day Calvin again made his appear- 
ance in court ; and was commanded by the Judges to ex- 
tract several propositions, word for word, from Servetus's 
book ; to which Servetus was required to return a written 
reply in Latin. 

The next time that Servetus was brought before his 
Judges was the 15th of September; and on that day a 

Art. 6.] MICHAEL 8ERVETUS. 439 

Reply, which Calvin had drawn up during the intervening 
fortnight, was delivered to him. This Reply is composed 
with great art, and does much credit to the talent and 
ingenuity of Calvin. Servetus, however, took no further 
notice of it, than to make several brief interlineary remarks, 
expressive, for the most part, of the extreme contempt 
which he felt for its author. In one of these notes, he 
says, ** In a cause so just I am firm, and have not the least 
fear of death." 

The Council having asked the advice of the Cantons of 
Zurich, Berne, Basle, and Schaffhausen, the Magistrates of 
each of these Cantons sent in a Mrritten reply, in which 
they recommended that a severe example should be made 
of Servetus, in order to deter others from the propagation 
of similar dangerous heresies. The letter from Basle was 
written last, and bore date October the 12th ; but it does 
not appear that the members of the Council had made up 
their minds as to the nature of Servetus's punishment, till 
the 23rd of that month. He was at length condemned, on 
the 26th of October, to be burnt to death before a slow 
fire ; and on that day Calvin (Ep. 161) wrote to his friend 
Farel of Neufchatel as follows. " The messenger has re- 
turned from the Swiss. They all with one consent declare, 
that Servetus has now revived the impious errors, by which 
Satan formerly disturbed the Church, and that he is a 
monster not to be endured. Those of Basle are discreet. 
Those of Zurich are the most earnest of all; for they 
describe in emphatical terms the heinousness of his impiety, 
and exhort our Senate to use severity. Those of Schaff- 
hausen approve. The letter of the Bernese Ministers, 
which is also to the piurpose, is accompanied by one from 
the Senate, by which our Magistrates have been not a Uttle 
encouraged. Cassar, who is a comical man, after feigning 
illness for three days, came into court at lengtli, in order 

440 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. [^Art. 6. 

to acquit that wretch ; for he was not ashamed to propose, 
that the matter should be referred to the Council of Two 
Hundred. He has been condemned, however, without 
dispute. His execution will take place to-morrow. We 
have endeavoured to change the kind of death, but to no 
piurpose. Why we failed, I will tell you when I see you." 
The person called ''Caesar,*' in the above extract, was 
Amadeus Gorreus, or Perrin, one of the Magistrates of 
Geneva, who wished to befriend Servetus, and in conjunc- 
tion with a few other members of the Senate, made a des- 
perate effort to save his life. Had the case been referred, 
as Gorreus proposed, to the Coimcil of Two Hundred, 
Servetus would probably have escaped with his life : but 
the Magistrates decreed that it should be otherwise. 

The execution took place, as Calvin announced, the day 
after his letter was ^mtten ; and Farel, was present at it. 
But the distance was too great for him to have received 
this letter before he left Neufchatel ; and to have acted 
upon the information which it contained. Some other 
friend, therefore, knowing his appetite for heretical blood, 
had probably conveyed to him earlier intelligence of the 
decision of the Magistrates; and he hastened to witness 
the execution. 

Soon after the apprehension of Servetus, Calvin had ex- 
pressed a hope, in a letter to Farel, (Ep. 152,) written 
Aug. the 20th, that he would be adjudged guilty of the 
capital offence, but that some less barbarous kind of death 
would be substituted for the punishment usually inflicted 
upon heretics. (" Spero capitale saltem fore judicium ; 
poenae vero atrocitatem remitti cupio.") Farel replied to 
this letter (Ep. 155) on the 8th of September, and the 
following is an extract from his answer. " It is a wonderful 
dispensation of God, in the case of Servetus, that he should 
come thither, Would that he may repent, though late. 


It will indeed be a mighty thing, if he dies a true penitent, 
undergoing only one death, who deserves to die ten thousand 
times over ; and if he strives to edify all present, who has 
made it his business to pervert many both dead and living, 
as well as those who are yet unborn. The Judges will be 
very cruel, very unjust to Christ, and the doctrine which is 
according to godliness, and real enemies of the Church, if 
they are not moved by the horrible blasphemies, with which 
so vile a heretick assails the Divine Majesty, and has endea- 
voured to undermine the Gospel of Christ, and to corrupt 
all the Churches. But I hope that God will cause those, 
who receive praise for inflicting just punishments on the 
perpetrators of theft and sacrilege, to act in this case so as to 
merit applause, by taking away the life of one, who has so 
long obstinately persisted in his heresies, and brought so 
many to destruction. In wishing for a less barbarous kind 
of punishment, you perform a friendly office to a man who 
has been your greatest enemy. But I beg that you will 
act in such a manner, that no one may dare rashly to pro- 
mulgate new doctrines, and unsettle all things with impu- 
nity, for so long a time as this man has done.** 

The conclusion of the sentence passed upon Servetus was 
as follows. " Having God, and his Holy Scripture before 
our eyes, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost, by this our definitive sentence, which we 
here give in writing, we condemn thee, Michael Servetus, 
to be bound, and carried to the Lieu de Champel, and there 
to be tied to a stake, and burnt alive with thy book, written 
with thine own hand, and printed, till thy body is reduced 
to ashes : and thus shalt thou end thy days, to serve as a 
warning to others, who are disposed to act in the same 
manner. And we command you, our Lieutenant, to cause 
our present sentence to be carried into effect." The officer 


442 MICHAEL SERVETU8. [_Art. 6. 

charged with this commission was not slow in executing it ; 
and a bloodier page does not stain the annals of martyrdom, 
than that in which this horrible transaction is recorded. 

On the morning of the @7th of October, 1553, the day 
after the above sentence was passed, Farel visited Servetus 
in prison, and strenuously urged him to recant : but Ser- 
vetus, in reply to Farel's repeated solicitations, implored 
him to produce one solitary passage of Scripture, in which 
it is stated, that Christ was called " the Son of God," before 
his birth of the Virgin Mary; and though he was fully 
alive to the awful situation in which he stood, and knew 
that he would be shortly summoned into the presence of 
his final Judge, neither threats nor enticements could pre- 
vail upon him to retract, or to admit that Christ is the 
Eternal God. 

When he was led to the place of execution, he repeat- 
edly cried out, " O God ! save my soul ! O Jesus, Son of 
the Eternal God I have pity on me !" 

As soon as he came in sight of the Lieu de Champel, he 
prostrated himself on the earth, and continued for some 
time in fervent prayer to God. While he was thus em- 
ployed, Farel, addressing himself to the people, who had 
flocked together in great crowds to witness the execution, 
said, " Behold the power of Satan, when he has taken pos- 
session of his intended victim ! This is a learned man ; and 
a similar fate might have been yours." Servetus now rose 
from the earth, and Farel urged him to address the assem- 
bled multitude, probably in the delusive hope, that he 
might be induced, at the last moment, to retract. But 
Servetus still continued to invoke the name of the Al- 
mighty ; and when Farel persisted in urging him to speak, 
he asked him, what he could say different from what he liad 
already said ? Farel then inquired of Servetus, whether he 

Art 6.] MICHAEL SERVETU8. 443 

had no wife or children, whom he intended to remember in 
his will. But Servetus, who was an unmarried man, and 
whose property had been seized upon by his persecutors^ 
and confiscated, was silent. Farel now urged him to invoke 
the Eternal Son of God, which he repeatedly refused to 
do. " Yet," says one of his biographers, " he advanced 
nothing in defence of his doctrine, but sufiered himself to 
be led away to punishment." This silence Calvin alleges, 
as a proof of Servetus's obstinacy ; or, as he himself phrases 
it, " of his beastly stupidity." 

The pile consisted of wooden billets, intermingled with 
green oaken faggots, still in leaf. Servetus was fastened to 
the trunk of a tree fixed in the earth, his feet reaching to 
the ground; and a crown of straw and leaves, sprinkled 
over with brimstone, was placed upon his head. His body 
was bound to the stake with an iron chain, and a coarse 
twisted rope was loosely thrown round his neck. His book 
was then fastened to his thigh ; and he requested the exe- 
cutioner to put him out of his misery as speedily as possible. 
The pile was then lighted, and he cried out in so piteous a 
tone, as to excite the deep and earnest sympathy of the 
spectators. When he had suffered for some time, a few of 
them, from feelings of compassion, and with a view to put 
an end to his misery, supplied the fire with a quantity of 
fresh fuel, while the imhappy man kept exclaiming, '' Jesus, 
thou Son of the Eternal God ! have pity on me !" 

" At length," says a manuscript account, " he expired, 
after about half an hour's suffering." Peter Hyperphro- 
genus, however, testifies, that the sufferings of Servetus 
were greatly protracted, in consequence of a strong breeze 
springing up, which scattered the flames ; and that, at last, 
there was scarcely suflScient fuel left, to enable the execu- 
tioner to carry the sentence into effect. He adds, likewise, 
that Servetus was writhing about in the fire between two 

444 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. \_Art. 6. 

and three hours ; and that 'he hegan at length to exclaim, 
''Wretched me! whom the devouring flames have not 
power to destroy ! " 

Minus Celsus relates, that the constancy of Servetus, in 
the midst of the fire, induced many to go over to his opi- 
nions; and Calvin makes it an express subject of com- 
plaint, that there were many persons in Italy, who che- 
rished, and revered his memory. Some writers have stepped 
forward, in our own day, and defended the part, which 
Calvin took, in the prosecution of Servetus. Among other 
recent apologists of the stem Genevese Reformer, M. Albert 
Rilliet, and the Rev. W. K. Tweedie stand conspicuous ; 
but their arguments have been ably and triumphantly re- 
futed by a well-known writer, in the " Christian Reformer" 
for January, 1847 (pp. 1 — ^21). 

Perhaps the most systematic attempt to screen Calvin 
from the odium, which his malignant and cruel treatment 
of Servetus has so deservedly brought upon him, is that of 
Dr. Paul Henry, of Berlin, who, in his work on "The 
Life and Times of John Calvin," of which Dr. H. Stebbing 
has recently favoured the public with an English transla- 
tion, enters largely into the subject, and does not hesitate 
•to stand forward as the advocate of " the great Reformer," 
and to avow his conviction, that this constitutes the crown- 
ing act of his life. " Many of Calvin's friends," says he, 
(Vol. II. p. 160,) "would fain have seen this period of 
his history wholly obliterated ; and there are others, who 
could conceive the idea of writing lus life, without entering 
into any particular account of the afiair of Servetus. I do 
not agree with them. It is here that Calvin appears in his 
real character ; and a nearer consideration of the proceed- 
ing, — examined, that is, from the point of view furnished 
by the age when it took place, — will completely exonerate 
him from blame." 


Nothing can be further from the intention of the present 
writer, than to dispute the assertion, "that Calvin," as 
regards the part which he took in this transaction, "ap- 
pears in his real character : " but it was the character, be 
it observed, of a persecutor of the first class, without one 
humane or redeeming quality, to divest it of its criminality, 
or palliate its enormity. The defence rests mainly upon 
the legal and theological feeling of the age ; but upon this 
principle, there is no atrocity, recorded in the annals of 
persecution, which may not be justified. It will, therefore, 
be a satisfaction to every reader of unperverted mind to be 
informed, that the Translator disclaims all participation in 
the feeling, which dictated this defence ; and expresses his 
disapprobation of Calvin's conduct towards Servetus, in 
the following imqualified terms. "Anxious as he has been 
honestly to preserve the sharpest features of the original, 
the Translator may be permitted, he trusts, to guard him- 
self against the chance of misrepresentation as to his own 
views or opinions. He begs then that it may be under- 
stood, that it is chiefly on accoimt of its historical value 
that he has desired to make this work known to English 
readers. He has a most sincere respect for the piety and 
eminent talents of the author ; but neither his regard for 
Dr. Henry, nor his profound admiration of Calvin, in the 
general features of his character, and sublime zeal, has 
altered his views on the subjects to which he has here more 
especial cause to refer. Dr. Henry has defended Calvin, 
in the case of Servetus, with admirable ability ; but the 
Translator believes still, as he has ever believed, that when 
men enjoy so large a measure of light and wisdom as Calvin 
possessed, they cannot be justified, if guilty of persecution, 
because they lived in times when wicked and vulgar minds 
warred against the rights of human conscience. If Calvin 
had prayed to be set free from the bondage which made 

446 MICHAEL 8ERVETUS. \^Art. 6. 

him a persecutor, his otherwise spotless reputation would 
have been unstained by the one blot which disfigures it. 
Persecution is opposed to the essential principles of Chris- 
tianity. Nothing can justify it, under any form or pre- 
tence whatsoever, as long as the Gospel is acknowledged 
to be divine." (Translator's Preface, pp. vi, vii.) 

It is unnecessary to add a single word to this well-merited 
censure, from the pen of one of Calvin's most ardent ad- 
mirers; for, while ample justice is done to his general 
character, and to his efforts in behalf of what he deemed 
Christian truth, his conduct as a persecutor is placed in its 
true light, and shewn to be utterly inconsistent with the 
spirit of that religion, of which, but for his reckless conduct 
in this instance, he might have been regarded, by the ene- 
mies, no less than the friends of his theological system, as 
one of the brightest ornaments. But all, whose natural 
feelings are not perverted by sectarian zeal, will join with 
Gibbon in denoimcing the conduct of a man, who, under 
the guise of religion, could violate every principle of honour 
and humanity ; and avail himself of the influence, which 
he derived from his office as a Christian Minister, and his 
high position as a Christian Reformer, to devise, if not to 
perpetrate, one of the foulest murders recorded in the his- 
tory of persecution. " I am more deeply scandalized," says 
the author of " The Decline and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire," (Chap, liv.) "at the single execution of Servetus, 
than at the hecatombs which have blazed in the Auto da 
Fes of Spain and Portugal. 1. The zeal of Calvin seems 
to have been envenomed by personal malice, and perhaps 
envy. He accused his adversary before their common ene- 
mies, the Judges of Vienne, and betrayed, for his destruc- 
tion, the sacred trust of a private correspondence. 2. The 
deed of cruelty was not varnished by the pretence of danger 
to the Church or State. In his passage through Geneva, 


Art 6.] MICHAEL 8ERVETUS. 447 

Servetus was a harmless stranger, who neither preached, 
nor printed, nor made proselytes. 3. A Catholic inquisitor 
yields the same obedience which he requires, but Calvin 
violated the golden rule of doing as he would be done by." 

Sandius, in his account of the writings of Servetus, 
assigns the first place to a Dialogue in Spanish, entitled, 

Desiderius Peregrinus," " The Treasure of the Soul," or 

The Treasure of the Christian Soul." This pious, but 
mystical little work, has been translated from the Spanish 
into the Italian, French, German, Dutch and Latin ; and 
published again and again in almost every country of 
Europe. Its real author was a Spanish Monk, of the 
Order of St. Jerome ; and it is difficult to imagine any 
other reason, why it should have been fathered upon Ser- 
vetus, than the circumstance of its having first appeared in 
Spanish, which was his native language. 

Of the genuine writings of Servetus, the following ac- 
count, it is hoped, will not prove unacceptable to the 
reader, although it has been anticipated, in some measure, 
by the former part of the present Article. 

1. On the Errors of the Trinity, Seven Books, by Mi- 
chael Servetus, alias Reves, a Spaniard of Aragon. 1531, 
8vo. The Latin title of this work is as follows. "De 
Trinitatis Erroribus Libri Septem : per Michaelem Serveto, 
alias Reves, ab Aragonia Hispanum. Anno MDxxxi." 
It was published at Hagenau, in Alsace, as appears from 
Servetus's own confession. The composition is barbarous 
and uncouth, being very different, in this respect, from his 
treatise on Syrups, and his notes on Ptolemy's Geography, 
both of which have been conunended for the elegance of 
their Latinity. When it was known that such a work was 
in existence, no eflforts were spared, by the civil and eccle- 
siastical authorities, to prevent it from getting into circu- 
lation. According to Peter Adolphus Boysen, many copies 

448 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. [-4ft. 6. 

were burnt at Frankfort; and others, which found their 
way to Ratisbon, were carefully collected, and destroyed 
by John Quintana, Secretary and Confessor to the Empe- 
ror Charles V. Grotius had access to a copy at Rotterdanii 
supposed to have been the one in manuscript, seen by 
Christopher Sandius, and taken from a printed copy, once 
in the possession of Peter Medmannys, and afterwards the 
property of John Pesser. Paris possessed only two copies, 
one of which was mutilated. Melanchthon had seen the 
work, as appears from a letter addressed by him to Joachim 
Camerarius (£p. 140) ; and it has been supposed, but 
without sufficient authority, that Micraelius had access to 
it. Schelhom informs us, that there was a copy in the 
library of Prince Eugene ; another in that of the Land- 
grave of Hesse Cassel; and a third in the possession of 
John Wilhelm Petersen. He adds, that the contributors 
to the " Berlin Heave-Offisrings" had access to one, if not 
two copies. Allwoerden denies, that the rarity of this work 
is so great as many learned men have supposed ; and tells 
his readers, that he himself had seen, at different times, 
upwards of twenty copies. He admits, that the Confessor 
of Charles V. suppressed all the copies, which he could 
meet with at Ratisbon ; but says, that we have the evidence 
of no author of repute, that these copies were committed 
to the flames, and that the mistake has arisen from con- 
founding the work "De Trinitatis Erroribus" with the 
" Christianismi Restitutio," which was burnt at Vienne and 
Frankfort, in compliance with the request of Calvin. No- 
thing is more certain, however, than that very few persons 
have had the good fortime to obtain a sight of this rare 
work. Dr. Dnmmiond, in the Preface to his spirited and 
excellent little book, entitled, " The Life of Michael Ser- 
vetus,*' states, that he has seen a manuscript quarto volume, 
written in two different hands, and containing the " Seven 


Books on the Errors of the Trinity," and the " Two Books 
of Dialogues" on the same subject. This volume appears, 
from a printed inscription on the inside of the cover, to 
have formerly belonged to a Physician of Frankfort on the 
Maine. It was presented to the Rev. John Montgomery, 
(nephew of the Rev. Dr. Montgomery, of Dunmurry,) 
when a student in Glasgow ; and was by him kindly en- 
trusted, for a season, to the care of Dr. Drummond, from 
whom this description of it is borrowed. Abstracts of the 
contents of the " Seven Books on the Errors of the Tri- 
nity " may be seen in Van Seelen's " Selecta Litteraria " 
(pp. 60 — 65) ; Trechsel's " Michael Servet und seine Vor- 
ganger " (S. 67—98) ; and Henry's " Life and Times of 
John Calvin," translated by Stebbing (Vol. II. pp. 168 — 
170). The chief aim of the work is to shew, First, that 
the historical Christ of the New Testament is the man 
Christ Jesus ; or that Jesus of Nazareth, a true man, con- 
ceived of the Holy Ghost, and bom of the Virgin Mary, 
is the Christ of God, or the Messiah promised to the 
fathers : Secondly, that he is the Son of God ; by which 
is meant, that his body has a real participation of the sub- 
stance of God, being begotten of the Holy Ghost, on which 
accoimt he is the proper, true and natural Son of God, 
whereas we are only sons of God by adoption: — and 
Thirdly, that he is God ; not that One and Most High, 
who alone is God the Father, yet substantially, because in 
him is the godhead bodily. Servetus lays down two fun- 
damental principles ; First, that the divine nature is inca- 
pable of division ; and Secondly, that it can become known 
to us only by its dispositions, or manifestations. Reason- 
ing from these two principles, he infers, that neither the 
Logos, nor the Holy Spirit, is a person really distinct from 
the Father, but only a kind of revelation of the divine 
nature. Theologians have experienced no small difficulty, 

VOL. I. 2 L 


450 MICHAEL SERVETU8. \_Art. 6. 

in their attempts to analyse the opinions of Servetus, and 
give them some definite form. Walchius regarded him as 
a favourer of Sabellianism ; and Beza> in the Preface to 
his account of Valentine Gentilis, intimates, that in Serve<* 
tus alone we meet with a union of the opinions of Paul of 
Samosata, Arius and Eutyches, and even of those of Mar* 
cion and ApoUinaris. It is now becoming the fashion, to 
charge him with undisguised Pantheism ; and to represent 
him as the herald, or precursor of Spinoza. But this is to 
do him a manifest injustice. The truth is, that, in attempt* 
ing to develop his views, he stumbled upon dialectical 
difficulties, of which he had not a due appreciation. Im- 
perceptibly to himself, his philosophical speculations led 
him into inconsistencies; but his Christian piety, and 
Christian feeling, which never deserted him, placed him at 
an inuneasurable distance from Spinoza. He was a Pan- 
theist in the same sense in which Paul was a Pantheist 
He believed, with the great Apostle of the Gentiles, that 
" there is One God and Father of all, who is above all, and 
through all, and in us all " (£ph. iv. 6) ; and his attempt 
to give expansion and development to this sublime senti- 
ment of the Apostle, and to shew its incompatibility with 
the received doctrine of three persons in the Godhead, was 
the occasion of that implacable hostility, with which Calvin 
pursued him. A Dutch translation of the work " On the 
Errors of the Trinity," by Renier Telle, or Regner Vitel- 
lius, was published in 4to., A.D. 1620. The translator 
professed himself a Calvinist, but was in reality an Amii- 
nian. His version is accurate and faithful, and often con- 
veys the meaning more plainly than the original itself. 
When the sense is more than ordinarily obscure, short ex- 
planatory notes are added in the margin. 

2. Two Books of Dialogues concerning the Trinity. On 
the Justification of Christ's Kingdom, Four brief Chapters : 


by Michael Servetus, alias Reves, a Spaniard of Aragon. 
163^9 8vo. The Latin title, which it may be a satisfaction 
to some readers to see, is as follows. '^Dialogorum de 
Trinitate Libri Duo. De Justitia Regni Christi, Capitula 
Quatuor : per Michael Serveto, alias Reves, ab Aragonia 
Hispanum. Anno MDxxxii." In these Dialogues Mi- 
chael and Petrucio are the speakers ; and the Four Capitula 
treaty 1, On Paul's Doctrine of Justification; 2, On the 
Kingdom of Christ ; 3, On the Law compared with the 
Gospel; and 4, On Charity. Servetus retracts, in this 
work, what he had advanced on the subject of the Trinity 
in the former one ; but he tells the reader, that his reason 
for so doing is a conviction, that what he had said was 
imperfect, not that it was false. This he attributes in part 
to his own want of skill in composition, and in part to the 
carelessness of his printer. The sentiments of both trea- 
tises are identical ; but in the ^^ Dialogues," more is said 
about the Logos, and less about the Father, than in the 
work " On the Errors of the Trinity." The writer's views 
on the subject of Justification are said to hold an interme- 
diate place, between those of the Lutherans, and those of 
the Catholics. Trechsel has given an abstract of the con- 
tents of this second work of Servetus, in his '* Michael 
Servet und Seme Vorganger" (S. 103—109). 

3. Claudius Ptolemseus of Alexandria's Eight Books of 
Geography, from the Translation of BilibaldusPirckheymer, 
now for the first Time revised according to the ancient 
Greek Copies, by Michael Villanovanus, &c. Lyons, Mel- 
chior and Caspar Trechsel, 1536, Fol. In the Preface to 
this work, Servetus, after giving a brief account of Ptolemy, 
and asserting his superiority as a geographer to Strabo, 
Pliny and Pomponius Mela, goes on to say, that he has 
spared no pains, in endeavouring to amend the text of his 
author ; and by the aid of manuscripts, and a careftil peru- 


452 MICHAEL 8ERVETU8. [Art. 6. 

sal of the works of preceding writers, has succeeded in re- 
storing the true reading of several thousand passages. The 
text of Ptolemy is enriched by explanatory notes, the style 
of which is more classical than that of Servetus's two pre- 
ceding works on the Trinity. The volume is also illus- 
trated by maps and wood-cuts. It was on certain expres- 
sions occurring in this work, that Calvin grounded his 
charge against Servetus, of representing Moses as an im- 
postor, and as bringing contempt upon the Jewish religion. 
The offensive passage had been expunged in the second edi- 
tion, published in 1542 ; but this availed Servetus nothing 
on his trial. Allwoerden gives an extended analysis of the 
work in his "History of Servetus," (pp. 158 — 166,) includ- 
ing the passage above mentioned. 

4. The whole Nature and Use of Syrups diligently un- 
folded, after the example of Galen, &c. Paris, Simon 
Colinseus, 1537, 8vo. Allwoerden made frequent inquiries 
after this book, but was never able to obtain a sight of it 
A copy of it is said to be preserved in the Royal Library 
at Konigsberg. Servetus published it under the name of 
Michael Villanovanus. A second edition appeared at Ve- 
nice, in 1545 ; and a third at Lyons, in 1546. The follow- 
ing notice of it, and of the cause which led to its publica^ 
tion, is from the pen of Dr. Henry. " In the science of 
medicine Servetus agreed with the Greek Physicians, in 
opposition to the Arabian. The controversy between these 
two parties was one of the topics of the day. Champier, 
a Physician, and the friend of Servetus, at Lyons, attri- 
buted, in a writing for Leonh. Fuchs, false views to the 
former, and accused him of inclining rather to the Arabian 
system. This produced an answer from Servetus, and as 
whatever he did he did with talent, a very excellent work, 
on the use of Syrups, with a review of the Galenists and 
Averroists, appeared, from his pen, at Paris in 1537. This 


work, as well as the notes on Ptolemaeus, was written in 
Latin, and so excellently, that Mosheim ventures the con- 
jecture, that he intentionally employed a negligent style 
in his theological writings, it being a principle with him 
that, in matters of religion, language should always be 
humble." (Life and Times of Calvin, Vol. II. Chap. iv. 
pp. 174, 175.) 

5. The Holy Bible according to the Translation of 
Sanctes Pagninus, but so revised after the Hebrew, and 
illustrated with Scholia, as to appear a manifestly new Edi- 
tion. Lyons, Hugh de la Porte, 1542, Fol. At the end of 
the volume are the words, " Excudebat Chaspar Trechsel." 
This Bible is extremely rare. Copies of it are sometunes 
to be met with in France ; but they fetch very high prices. 
Calvin, in his accusation against Servetus, alludes to it, and 
particularly to the note on Isaiah liii. It is evident, from 
the Preface, that Servetus thought all the prophecies of 
the Old Testament had a literal and historical sense, and 
received their fulfilment before the time of the Christian 
dispensation ; and that they could be applied to Christ only 
in a mystical sense. Servetus has supplied few notes on 
the Historical Books ; but in the Psalms and Books of the 
Prophets his annotations are numerous. These gave great 
ofience, not only to Calvin, but to the Divines of the Ca- 
tholic Church. Allwoerden has inserted a long and inter- 
esting account of this edition of the Bible^ with extracts 
from the Expurgatory Indexes of Sotomaior and Quiroga, 
in his " Historia M. Serveti," pp. 167—176. The reader 
may also consult Masch*s edition of Le Long's "Bibliotheca 
Sacra, Hal. 1783," 4to., P. ii. Vol. III. Cap. iu. Sect. i. 
§ xxiv. pp. 477, 478. 

6. The Restitution of Christianity. A Call to the 
Christian World to the primitive Principles of the Apos- 
tolic Church: or a Treatise wherein the Knowledge of 


tus's printed Book. That printed Book might, perhaps, 
even yet, be found at Clausenburg, in Transylvania, among 
the Unitarians." 

"I vvTote this at Konigsvrald, Feb. 19th, 1719.*' 

" After I had vmtten the above, I met with a letter, 
which Peter Adams, the travelling companion of D. Mark 
Szent-Ivani, had addressed to John Preussius, on his retiun 
to Clausenburg ; from which I ascertained, that the journey 
above mentioned took place between the years 1660 and 
1668, not 1670. 

" The manuscript copy, given by me to Seidelius, is now 
in the possession of the celebrated Mathurin Veyssiere La 
Croze, Aulic Councillor, and Librarian to the King of 
Prussia; not obtained from 'Samuel Crellius,' as a late 
* History of Servetus,' published under the auspices of the 
illustrious Mosheim, states, but from the library of the 
deceased Seidelius." [The " History of Servetus " here 
alluded to, is AUwoerden's ; and the passage occurs at 
p. 181.] 

''I made this additional memorandum at Amsterdam, 
July, 1728." 

"P.S. I afterwards learnt, in the year 1735, from the 
illustrious Stephen Agh, then a student of the Unitarian 
Church in Transylvania, now a Professor in the Gymnasium 
at Clausenburg, that the printed copy of Servetus's work 
was not found among the Transylvanian Unitarians: for 
when, on the occupation of Transylvania by the Emperor 
Leopold, both their Churches at Clausenburg were taken 
from them by the Roman Catholics, the danger being im- 
minent, they, improvidently secure, neglected to remove 
their library in time from the greater Church, where it 
was placed, which was therefore taken possession of by the 
Jesuits. M. V. La Croze had given his manuscript copy 
to John Christopher Wolf, Preacher at Hamburgh, from 


which place he subsequently went to Offenbach ; and after 
his death, when his books were sold by auction at Frank- 
fort on the Maine^ P. De Hondt, bookseller at the Hague, 
obtained this copy, which I saw in his possession, and knew 
to be the very one, which I had formerly presented to 

''I make this additional memorandum at Amsterdam, 
July, 1745." 

"I received a letter, however, from the above named 
illustrious Stephen Agh, Dec. 30th, 1745, written at Clau- 
senburg, and containing the following statement. * When 
we lost those two Churches, we did not, with the Churches, 
lose also the books of the celebrated D. M. Szent-Ivani ; 
for they were not at that time taken to the place adjoining 
the Cathedral, in which many books of our Church were 
preserved, and those works of Servetus, about which I 
wrote, but more especially the Restitutio Christianismif I 
have not found in the Catalogue of his books. If, however, 
by any chance, I shall hereafter find them, either in the 
libraries of our Church, or elsewhere,' &c. 

" Thus, all hope has not vanished, that a printed copy 
of the Restitutio Christianismi may still be found in Tran- 

"The manuscript copy, which Peter De Hondt had 
obtained at Frankfort on the Maine, as we have said above, 
was sold at the Hague in the very last sununer, A.D. 1745, 
at an auction of his books, for eighty-six Dutch florins. 
Hartig, a bookseller of Amsterdam, bought it. Peter De 
Hondt had lent this copy of his to some one to read. A 
copy of it, made by him, was introduced into a book auc- 
tion at Amsterdam about two years since, and cost the 
purchaser more than a hundred Dutch florins." 

''I make this additional memorandum January 27th, 


From these detached remarks of Samuel Crellius, which, 
owing to their having been made at different times, and in 
two cases after long intervals, are not so clear and connected 
as might have been wished, and from other information 
supplied by the writer of the letters to Dr. Jedidiah Morse, 
the inference may be drawn, that there are presumptively 
existing at least four manuscript copies of the ** Chnstian- 
ismi Restitutio," which owe their origin, eithet directly or 
indirectly, to the printed copy, procured by Daniel Mark 
Szent-Ivani, during his visit to this country : — 1. That of 
Crellius, copied by the Rev. Andrew Lachowski ; 2. That 
copied by the Rev. John Preussius and others, and now in 
the Royal Library at Gottingen; 3. That clandestinely 
made from De Hondt*s copy ; and 4. That copied from the 
Gottingen MS. by the Rev. J. J. Stapfer, of Bern. Bock 
states, that the library of the celebrated Jablonski, Professor 
of Divinity in the University of Frankfort on the Oder, 
once contained an elegant manuscript copy of the '' Chris- 
tianismi Restitutio," in folio, made at Clausenburg, in 
Transylvania ; but whether this was one of those already 
mentioned, or some independent copy, does not appear. 

A printed copy of this celebrated work is said to have 
been secreted by Colladon, one of Servetus's Judges. After 
passing through the library of the Landgrave of Hesse 
Cassel, this copy came into the possession of Dr. Richard 
Mead, the celebrated Physician, (Sigmund's unnoticed 
Theories of Servetus, p. 22,) who made a present of it to 
M. De Boze, Secretary to the Academy of Inscriptions 
and Belles Lettres at Paris, an office which he held for 
thirty-seven years. In the " Authentic Memoirs of Richard 
Mead, M.D.," which are a translation from the "Eloge" 
upon him in the " Journal Brittanique" of 1754, conducted 
by the elder Maty, the following passage occurs in refer- 
ence to this copy. " His reputation not only as a Physi- 


cian, but as a Scholar, was so universally established, that 
he corresponded with all the principal Literati in Europe. 
Mr. De Boze, whose loss the learned world lament no less 
than the Academy to which he did so much honor, kept 
up the strictest correspondence with the Doctor. He fre- 
quently received from him some valuable piece for the 
cabinet of the King of France, and never fedled of making 
him a return of the same kind. The scarce and perhaps 
the only copy of Servetus's last book, passed from the 
shelves of our English worthy to those of his friend abroad, 
in exchange for a thousand presents he had received from 
him." (Pp. 55, 56.) This copy is now at Paris, and is 
the one consulted by M. Emile Saisset, in drawing up 
a series of articles on Servetus, lately published in the 
" Revue des Deux Mondes." That writer says, " Our 
Royal Library fortunately possesses one of the only two 
copies of the Restitution du Christianitme which it is said 
have escaped destruction. It is a curious circumstance 
that this is the identical copy of which Colladon made 
use when he arranged with Calvin the proceedings against 
Michael Servetus. It still bears in its margin the damning 
marks which that penetrating and inflexible theologian 
inscribed upon it. It was snatched from the flames by 
some unknown hand, and we can observe in its blackened 
leaves the marks of fire. It is from the pages of this 
volume, full of tragical mementoes, — ^by means of these 
Unes, in parts half effiu^ed by the rust of age, in parts obli- 
terated and reduced to ashes by the flames, — that we have 
attempted to extract the buried thoughts of the sacrificed 
author." (Christian Reformer, N. S. Vol. IV. p. 271.) 

A third printed copy of the " Christianismi Restitutio" 
once existed at Basle ; but Father Simon informs us, that 
this was transferred to Dublin. Gerard a Mastricht men- 
tions a fourth copy, which he had seen, and examined, in 

460 MICHAEL SERVETU8. [Aft. 6. 

the public library at Duysburgh ; but Theodore Hase sap, 
that, in his time, this was no longer to be found. The 
only copy now known to exist, beside the one in the 
National Library at Paris, is in the Imperial Library at 
Vienna ; and it is not improbable that this is the one, which 
formerly belonged to Daniel Mark Szent-Ivani, and which 
disappeared from his library in so mysterious a manner, on 
the occupation of Transylvania by the Emperor Leopold. 

Reprints of this scarce work, purporting to be copies of 
the original edition, are sometimes to be met with in Cata- 
logues ; and written copies of it also are occasionally seen 
in England, as well as on the continent. One of these was 
made for Dr. More, Bishop of Ely, from the printed copy 
in the Library of the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel ; and M. 
Souverain, author of " Le Platonisme devoile," had access 
to another. 

The original manuscript, written by Servetus's own hand, 
once belonged to Coelius Horatius Curio. It afterwards 
found its way into the library of M. Du Fay, with the rest 
of whose books it was sold at Paris, in 1725. The pur- 
chaser was the Count De Hoym, Polish Ambassador at the 
French Court, who bought it for a hundred and seventy- 
six livres. It was afterwards the property of M. Gaignat, 
and was sold, with the rest of that gentleman's library, in 
1769. What next became of it, and whether it is now in 
existence, the present writer has not been able to ascertain. 
It was in a very tattered, and mutilated state, when in the 
possession of M. Gaignat. 

For an accoimt of the contents of the " Christianismi 
Restitutio," the reader may consult Sandius's " Bibliotheca 
Antitrinitariorum " (pp. 14, 15); the Monthly Repository 
for 1810, (Vol. V.,) pp. 526—528 ; and Trechsel's "Michael 
Servet und seine Vorganger," S. 119 — 144. 

Peter Palmer, a London bookseller, projected an edition 


of the Works of Servetus in 4to., 1723, but was prevented 
from carrying his design into execution, by the interference 
of the ecclesiastical and civil powers. At the instance of 
Dr. Gibson, Bishop of London, John Kent, messenger of 
the press, and William Squire, messenger in ordinary, seized 
the whole impression, before it was completed ; and a very 
few copies escaped destruction. 

7. For an account of other writings, of which Servetus 
contemplated the publication, if his life had been spared, 
the reader may consult Article 42 of the present work. 

ViDEND. Sandii B. A. pp. 6—15. Boch^ Hist Ant. T. 11. pp. 321 
— 395. Trechsel, Michael Servet und seine Vorganger, passim. All- 
tcoerdetif Hist. Michaelis Serveti, passim. M. De la JRoche, Biblioth. 
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